Ireland to give extra €1.25m to help Syrian refugees in Jordan

Simon Coveney is visiting Jordan, Israel, Palestine and Cyprus

Ireland to give extra €1.25m to help Syrian refugees in Jordan

Tánaiste Simon Coveney (right) tours a World Food Programme (WFP) facility in Jordan | Image via @SeanOReganIRL on Twitter

The Government has announced it is to give an additional €1.25m funding to Jordan to assist the humanitarian response to the Syria crisis.

The funding was announced as Tánaiste Simon Coveney met with the Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi in Amman.

He also visited the Za'atari Refugee Camp to observe the conditions in which refugees live, meet a refugee family and to see the work of agencies receiving support from Ireland.

Mr Coveney said: "I am very glad to have had the opportunity to witness the valuable work that is being done to help refugees at Za'atari camp.

"This underlines the generosity of the Jordanian government and its people.

"Ireland has provided assistance of over €100m to the Syria crisis to date.

"This signals our deep solidarity with the Syrian people and all those affected by the crisis across the region."

While more than 133,000 live in the camps of Za'atari, Emirati Jordanian Camp and Azraq, almost 80% of Syrian refugees in Jordan live outside camps.

It is estimated that 93% of refugees in Jordan live below the poverty line.

Since 2012, Ireland has provided €109m in humanitarian assistance to Syria and the region, Ireland's largest ever response to a single crisis.

Speaking on the announcement of the additional funding, Mr Coveney said: "I am delighted to announce a further €1.25m in aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan.

"It is crucial that we continue to help the victims of the conflict as well as the communities who host them.

"Consequently, I am providing funding of €750,000 to support UNHCR's Jordan operations and €500,000 for UNICEF's education response in Jordan. This support is critical in meeting the educational needs of young people who have been so deeply affected by the crisis."

On his meeting with Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi, he said: "We discussed a broad range of issues during our meeting including trade, the opening of the new embassy, and recent developments in the Middle East.

"I was particularly interested in Minister Safadi's perspective on regional issues, particularly the conflict in Syria and the Middle East peace process, given the pivotal role that Jordan plays in the region."

Mr Coveney will visit Israel, Palestine and Cyprus in the coming days.