Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

UK adds £1m to Syria refugees fund

Nick Clegg has announced funding to help victims of the unrest in Syria
Nick Clegg has announced funding to help victims of the unrest in Syria

Britain will give another £1 million to help 10,000 Syrian refugees through the cold winter, Nick Clegg has said.

The Deputy Prime Minister pledged the cash during a visit to the Turkish Red Crescent, which is helping victims forced to flee the civil war as Syrian president Bashar Assad continues his crackdown on rebel fighters.

Mr Clegg's announcement came as up to 30 people were killed and scores hurt in four suicide bombings in the main square of the Syrian city of Aleppo.

The new money takes the UK's total funding to deal with the unfolding refugee crisis to £18 million.

Mr Clegg, who is on a two-day trade mission to Turkey, said: "It's clear that the scale of the challenge is huge, with over 93,000 registered refugees in the camps along the Syrian-Turkish border and more crossing every day.

"That's why we're announcing this additional funding for the Turkish Red Crescent, working alongside the Turkish government, the United Nations and the wider humanitarian community, to meet the critical needs of refugees this winter."

The money is likely to be spent on blankets, heaters and warm clothing, as well as fuel and cookers to heat food, and shelter to protect against the freezing weather.

Mr Clegg added: "Refugees from Syria face what is likely to be a bitterly cold winter. The supplies this extra funding will deliver will go some way to helping them through this difficult time.

"The Turkish government has shown real leadership and generosity in accommodating the large number of Syrians seeking refuge in their country while ordinary people have opened their doors and provided help to complete strangers."

Red Crescent general director Omer Tashli said: "We are delighted that the British Government has agreed to make a donation of £1 million to the Turkish Red Crescent, the institution that provides humanitarian assistance to thousands of Syrian citizens who are currently being protected by Turkey."

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