Global Refugee Forum: Opening remarks by Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi at ‘The Syrian refugee crisis – Delivering in partnership’

December 17, 2019
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Excellencies, Ambassadors, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished guests, I am honoured to open this panel on ‘The Syrian refugee crisis – Delivering in partnership’ at this first meeting of the Global Refugee Forum, and to share the floor with my distinguished co-panellists.

The conflict in Syria is a particularly tragic and complex one, and the new, geopolitical European Commission is addressing it as a priority. The conflict has forced more than 6 million people to leave their homes within Syria and more than 5 million to flee their country: more than 11 million lives have been disrupted. The impact of the crisis on Syria is devastating, and it reaches far beyond Syrian borders.

I particularly commend the efforts of the neighbouring countries, including Jordan and Turkey present on this panel, and Lebanon in hosting refugees.

[…] The European Union has been at the forefront of the international response. Together with its Member States, the European Union has been the largest donor and mobilised more than €17 billion since 2011, to help those who have fled the war, both within and outside Syria, and the host communities in which they are displaced.

Necessity is the mother of invention and the European Union has used innovative ways to be able to respond to the needs that have been and remain unprecedented:The EU’s Facility for Refugees in Turkey and the EU Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, Madad, are examples of how the EU has adapted, responded and maximised resources, channelling funds efficiently to address the impact of the crisis.

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Countries covered:

  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Syria *