At the fifth Brussels Conference on 'Supporting the future of Syria and the Region' co-chaired today by the European Union and the United Nations, the international community pledged €5.3 billion for 2021 and beyondfor Syria and the neighbouring countries hosting the largest Syrian refugee population. Of this amount, €3.7 billion were announced by the EU, with €1.12 billion coming from the European Commission and €2.6 billion from EU Member States. The EU as a whole remains the largest donor with €24.9 billion of humanitarian, stabilisation and resilience assistance collectively mobilised since the onset of the crisis in 2011 to address its consequences.
High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell said: "A decade after Syrians peacefully took to the streets asking for freedom, justice and economic perspectives, those demands are still unmet and the country is in chaos. The EU and its Member States have been the largest provider of support to Syrians throughout the past ten years and continue to believe that it is for Syrians to decide on the future of their country. A future in which all Syrians will feel safe, free and have a dignified life. With the Brussels Conference, the EU has brought together once again the international community to reaffirm our political and financial support to Syrians and the neighbouring countries and to a political solution to the crisis."
Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič added: "Tragically we continue to see a worsening humanitarian situation in Syria. A decade of a devastating conflict continues to affect millions of Syrians including women and children. The international community must not lose sight of the plight of the affected civilians. The EU is stepping up its humanitarian assistance to save lives on the ground. We are renewing our commitment to helping the Syrian people and the hosting communities."
Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi said: "After 10 years of conflict in Syria, that is taking a heavy toll on the Syrian population and the neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees, the status quo in the region is untenable. This has been one of the main messages coming out from the Brussels V Conference today. And the EU's support will not stop with the significant financial assistance confirmed today: Our ‘New Agenda for the Mediterranean' foresees an Economic and Investment Plan that will help underpin the long term recovery of the region and help its stabilisation."
Over 80 countries and international organisations were represented in the Brussels V Conference, which took place virtually on 29 and 30 March. Participants addressed the current situation in Syria and the region and renewed their support to the UN-led efforts for a comprehensive political solution to the conflict. The Brussels V Conference also provided a unique platform for dialogue with civil society in Syria and the region.
Since 2017, the Brussels Conferences on 'Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region' have brought together the international community in support of UN efforts towards a political solution to the conflict in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254. They have allowed the donor community to pledge vital humanitarian and financial support for the Syrian population and neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees. Moreover, the five Conferences have offered a platform to bring representatives from Syrian, regional and international non-governmental and civil society organisations together with policy makers during the 'Days of Dialogue'.
Day of Dialogue with civil society
During the three live-streamed panel discussions of the Day of Dialogue on 29 March, representatives from Syrian, regional and international non-governmental and civil society organisations exchanged with ministers and senior decision-makers from the EU, the UN, Syria's neighbouring countries and other international partners. Discussions complemented a wide online consultation process that took place in February and March 2021 gathering inputs from over 1,500 individuals and organisations. The recommendations were conveyed by NGO rapporteurs at today's Ministerial meeting.
The Day of Dialogue can still be watched online.
Side and cultural events
From 15 to 26 March, side events hosted by EU Member States, partner countries, UN agencies and other international organisations took place online.
The EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian Crisis, that has mobilised more than €2.3 billion from the EU, 21 EU Member States, UK and Turkey to alleviate the consequences of the crisis since its establishment in December 2014, organised an outdoor photo exhibition from 15 to 30 March, together with ten municipalities of the Brussels' region, displaying portraits of women, men, boys and girls affected by the Syrian crisis, revealing the strength and resilience of exiled Syrians and those who welcome them in Syria's neighbouring countries. Their portraits remain available online.
The EU, in cooperation with Lagrange Points Brussels, organised four virtual concerts featuring a variety of Syrian musicians as well as Sufi whirling and poetry artists; an online introduction to Syrian cuisine; and a painting exhibition at Lagrange Points Brussels. All videos are available online.
For More Information
- Publication date
- 30 March 2021
- Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations