Funding boost for Syria refugees

Britain is to give an extra £10 million of funding to help more than 45,000 refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria, the International Development Secretary has announced.

Andrew Mitchell made the pledge as he visited the Za'atri tented refugee camp in Jordan, on the Syrian border.

The money represents a four fold increase in British aid for refugees which was previously £3 million.

Mr Mitchell said: "In the midst of its sporting triumphs at the London Olympics, Britain has not forgotten the people of Syria. Today's extra support shows we stand alongside those who have lost everything because of the actions of this ruthless regime.

"The stories I've heard today paint a horrifying picture of everyday life for hundreds of thousands of ordinary people in Syria. I've met people left with only the clothes on their backs. I've spoken to families forced to flee their homes in the dead of night, some walking miles under the constant threat of violence and death if caught trying to escape."

It will provide emergency food rations for more than 18,000 Syrian refugees, plus safe drinking water and sanitation amid the hot conditions, including for mothers and children caught up in violence.

Funding will go to three humanitarian bodies providing assistance in the region, the World Food Programme, Unicef, and UNHCR. Approximately £5.5 million of the additional funding will be used for activities in Jordan and the remainder in Syria's other neighbouring countries, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.

In Jordan the money will help ensure 2,100 vulnerable Syrian and Jordanian children receive psychosocial support, provide food for nearly 11,000 refugees and fund child protection activities, registration of refugees and counselling services at Za'atri camp, among other activities.

In Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, funding will be put towards emergency food rations for nearly 5,500 refugees in Lebanon and more than 2,000 refugees in Iraq; plus sanitation assistance to more than 33,000 refugees in Lebanon, including the supply of more than 1.6 million litres of safe drinking water.

It will also provide emergency shelter kits for 1,300 displaced Syrians in Iraq and winter shelter equipment for families in Lebanon, plus education provision for around 3,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon who have missed school.