Britain to provide extra £100 mln in humanitarian aid for Syria: PM
Britain will provide an extra 100 million pounds (137 million euros, $153 million) in humanitarian aid for the Syrian crisis, bringing its total contribution to more than 1.0 billion pounds, Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday.
"That is the UK's largest-ever response to a humanitarian crisis. No other European country has come close to this level of support," he told a news conference in Madrid.
The bulk of the extra funds, 60 million pounds, will be used to provide aid for Syrians in Syria while the rest will go to neighbouring nations like Jordan and Turkey with huge numbers of Syrian refugees, he said.
Earlier on Friday Cameron announced in Lisbon that Britain would take in thousands more Syrian refugees, amid growing pressure at home and abroad to address the crisis.
"We must pursue a comprehensive approach to these issues. That means using our aid budget to alleviate poverty and suffering in the countries where these people are coming from," Cameron said following his talks in Madrid with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR estimates that more than four million Syrians have fled the bloodshed which broke out in March 2011, mostly to neighbouring Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey but also Egypt and Iraq.
The host countries are struggling to cope -- Jordan and Lebanon have repeatedly appealed for increased aid to ease the burden.
But a UN donation drive for 2015 has so far only raised 41 percent of the target figures, forcing the World Food Programme to trim its assistance to Syrian refugees in both Lebanon and Jordan.
© 2015 AFP