(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The European Commission (EC) decided to release a total of EUR23 million for displaced Syrians and Syrian refugees, EUR 5.4 million of which will be allocated for Jordan to be spent on enhancing the services for Syrians in the Kingdom, the commission said on its website on Friday.
This amount, according to the statement, comes under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument and adds onto a previously decided EUR10 million funding of humanitarian projects already undertaken by the EC in Syria and in the countries hosting Syrian refugees, adding that it represents a rapid response to the most pressing needs of the Syrian population and Syrian refugees.
According to the statement, EUR5.4 million of the allocated amount will go to the United Nations Children's Fund in the Kingdom and will contribute to ensuring safe and appropriate services for Syrians living in Jordan, by providing up to 15,000 vulnerable Syrian children in host communities with access to free formal education for the current and next school years, and other relevant education and psycho-social support services.
"This special measure will help respond to the crisis situation in Syria itself and in areas affected by the influx of refugees in neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan," said the statement, adding that actions carried out may include the delivery of basic and specialised education and health services, support to livelihoods, capacity building of NGOs and activists, support to the media, cultural activities and civil society.
"While the international community must continue to support Kofi Annan's plan and use all its influence to stop the violence and begin a transition, the European Union remains strongly committed to supporting the Syrian people in this time of suffering. We need to deliver all the support we can," the statement quoted EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton as saying.
Meanwhile, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule said: "From the very first day of civil unrest in Syria, the EU has stood by the people of Syria. Today's decision will significantly strengthen a solid financial basis and a flexible tool for quick and effective support to help the Syrians most in need."
The commission underlined that according to the UN estimates, the Syrian crisis has until now led to approximately one million displaced people, including over 40,000 refugees, adding that the EU remains committed to continuing and increasing its support to the Syrian population in every way possible.
The statement noted that EUR12.6 million will be made immediately available to assist the Syrian people in Syria in coping with the unrest and its consequences and preparing for a transition, adding that selected projects of varying sizes will address the short- and medium-term needs and will enhance the role of Syrian civil society in transition.
A flexible response tool will be set up to allow quick, responsive and targeted support to projects implemented by local or international NGOs and organisations, in fields ranging from support to livelihood and the delivery of basic and specialised health services to capacity building and cultural activities.