International Conference Convenes on Syrian Refugee Situation | The Center for Victims of Torture

International Conference Convenes on Syrian Refugee Situation

Friday, November 14, 2014

On October 28, 2014, the Government of Germany hosted an international conference in Berlin on the “Syrian Refugee Situation – Supporting Stability in the Region.” Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne C. Richard represented the United States at the conference.

According to the U.S. Department of State, more than 40 foreign affairs ministers and representatives of international organizations gathered to explore ways to increase coordination among donor countries and humanitarian organizations, as well as support refugee-hosting countries in the region.

In late August, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees revealed that the number of Syrian refugees exceeds three million. Nearly 6.5 million civilians have been displaced within Syria, and nearly 11 million Syrians are in need of aid within the country.

At the conference, António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said, “The Syrian situation is the most dramatic humanitarian crisis the world has faced in a very long time. Syrians are now the largest refugee population under UNHCR's mandate.”

John Ging, Operations Director for the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, recently told journalists after a visit to the region that the Syrian crisis is “the biggest humanitarian crisis we face today in the world” and that “in fact, it is a disaster for millions and millions of people…which, sadly and tragically, is only getting worse and worse.”

During the conference, Assistant Secretary Richard announced that the United States will provide $10 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help communities in the region hosting Syrian refugees. Since the start of the conflict, the U.S. government has given more than $2.9 billion in humanitarian assistance inside Syria and throughout the region. According to the State Department, the additional $10 million will be used to improve schools, buy textbooks and supplies, build health clinics, support staff from local communities, and improve and extend water and sewer infrastructure.

Conference participants issued a final communiqué that states, “Donors will strive to urgently and substantially increase their funding for relief inside Syria, based on identified needs and the ability to deliver aid according to the relevant provisions of International Humanitarian Law and the United Nations’ principles of humanitarian action.” 

You can view Assistant Secretary Richard speaking on the current situation in Syria and the results from the conference.

In 2008, CVT initiated a program in Jordan to provide care to highly traumatized Iraqi refugees suffering from the effects of torture and war. Today, we provide care to both Syrian and Iraqi refugees. CVT provides mental health, physiotherapy, and social referrals and case management.  Information about CVT’s work with survivors of the conflict in Syria is available here.


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