Belfast Telegraph

Minister reveals Syria aid money

Ireland has provided more than 31 million euro in aid to Syria, according to the Minister for Development.

Sean Sherlock said the money had been used to provide emergency food, water, s anitation, shelter and protection for the millions of people displaced by the civil war which has ravaged the country over the past four years.

Mr Sherlock said aid agencies should not be targeted.

He said: "Humanitarian access inside Syria continues to be hampered by regime restrictions on aid agencies, the fragmentation of the armed opposition and the intensity of the conflict and I call for safe and unhindered humanitarian access.

"In view of the immense needs in Syria and neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees, Ireland will continue to provide humanitarian assistance in response to this crisis - indeed, we have provided 1.8 million euro to support the work of UN agencies already this year, the majority of it directed at supporting the needs of children."

The minister is expected to attend a "pledging conference" in Kuwait later this month where he will outline exactly how Ireland intends to continue supporting the Syrian people.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan said he was committed to helping end the agony of the Syrian people.

"Ireland stands with its international partners in supporting a political solution based on the principles of the 2012 Geneva communique: the ending of violence, the formation of an inclusive transitional governing body with executive powers, and a new constitutional process for a democratic Syria which preserves Syria's multi-ethnic and multi-religious character.

"I also reiterate Ireland's condemnation of the multiple war crimes inflicted on the Syrian people by the parties to the conflict and call on the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court."

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