Today, the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament, Board Members and Observers from 21 EU Member States, Iraq, the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Türkiye gathered in Brussels for the joint meeting of the 12th Trust Fund Board and the 14th Operational Board, as governing bodies of the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (EUTF Syria) – the “Madad Fund”.
As the mandate of the EUTF Syria – Madad Fund came to an end on 14 December 2021, with projects however still undergoing implementation until mid-2025, the meeting presented Board Members with an opportunity to learn and discuss on the implementation state of play and results achieved to date.
The European Commission was represented by the Acting Director for the Neighbourhood South and Türkiye at the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Henrike Trautmann, who also chaired the event. She commented: “For the past eight years, the EUTF Syria – Madad has placed the EU at the forefront of the international response to the Syrian crisis, reaching out to over 9.4 million people, Syrian refugees and host communities. The EU and its partners will continue working together for the people of Syria and all vulnerable communities impacted by the Syrian crisis in the region.”
Since its establishment in December 2014, the EUTF Syria mobilised €2.38 billion to carry out over 100 crucial projects mainly in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Türkiye, contributing to improved access to basic services in the following sectors: Protection and Social Protection, Basic and Higher Education, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Livelihoods and Health.
The war in Syria is now in its 12th year and continues to fuel one of the world’s largest refugee crises. More than 5.6 million Syrians fled their homes to seek refuge in other countries, with the vast majority, more than 5.5 million people, living as refugees in Syria’s neighbourhood, primarily in Türkiye (64.9%), Lebanon (14.8%), Jordan (12.2%) and Iraq (4.7%) [source: UNHCR 2022].
The EUTF Syria - Madad has been the key instrument for delivering the pledges made by the EU at the London conference on Syria in 2016. It has evolved with the priorities of the ensuing Brussels I-VI conferences on the Future of Syria and the Region, aimed at ensuring continued support to the Syrian people, in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254. The Brussels Conferences took place: in April 2017 and 2018, March 2019, June 2020, March 2021 and in May 2022.
The Trust Fund stopped contracting new actions as of 14 December 2021 due to its ending mandate, with remaining projects undergoing implementation until 14 June 2025. Since its establishment, it has achieved the following results for refugees, host community members and Internally Displaced People:
- About 10 million individuals accessed improved basic services;
- Over 6.5 million people received improved healthcare;
- Over 800,000 children and young adults could go to school and access quality education;
- Over 10,000 local facilities (including schools, hospitals and clinics, water facilities etc.) across all targeted countries were upgraded, reconstructed and/or newly built.
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