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The European Commission considers the funding obtained for Syria insufficient



           


The June 2020 conference in Brussels raised nearly $5 billion in pledges (conference screenshot - European Council)
The June 2020 conference in Brussels raised nearly $5 billion in pledges (conference screenshot - European Council)
SYRIA / EU. In its latest report on the financial monitoring of grant and loan pledges to Syria, the European Commission indicates that as of 31 August 2020, international donors had provided $5bn (€4.3bn) in grants to Syria and its region in 2020.

Published on Friday 16 October 2020, this 30-page document states that this sum already exceeds by 2% the initial total amount of subsidies promised for this year ($4.9 billion or €4.2 billion) at the 4th Brussels conference on support for the future of Syria and the region. Organised on 30 June 2020 by the European Commission and co-chaired by the UN, this meeting resulted in a total of $13.8 billion (€11.8 billion) in pledges, of which $5.5 billion (€4.7 billion) for 2020, plus $2.2 billion (€1.9 billion) for 2021 and subsequent years. To this should be added the $6.0bn (€5.1bn) of loans pledged by the international financial institutions (Ifi's) and donors for 2020 and beyond.

By the end of August 2020, for 2021 and beyond, donors have already released $1.7bn (€1.4bn), i.e. 85% of the $2bn (€1.7bn) commitment made at the conference.
 

34% of the grants allocated to Syria

In 2020, the contributions (green) exceeded the promises of subsidies (blue), as in previous years (graph: C.E.).
In 2020, the contributions (green) exceeded the promises of subsidies (blue), as in previous years (graph: C.E.).
In addition to Syria, five countries, those hosting Syrian refugees, are also concerned. Thus, out of the $5 billion of subsidies mentioned above, 34% were allocated to Syria, 19% to Lebanon, 16% to Turkey, 13% to Jordan, 8% to Iraq and 1% to Egypt, as well as 9% to multinational and regional initiatives. These are mainly food aid (food insecurity affects 9.3 million people in Syria), health, education, economic recovery and infrastructure.

The main donors are Germany $427m (€364m), the United States $384m (€327m), the European Union $270m (€230m), the United Kingdom $103m (€83m) and Japan $76m (€65m). In all, thirty-eight donors have been identified in 2020, of which twenty-three have met or exceeded their pledges despite the Covid-19 crisis.

It should be noted that in 2019, contributions exceeded pledges by $3bn (€2.5bn), as in previous years (see graph below). However, in the same period, only 92% of the pledges had been fulfilled.


 

36% of the pledges made by Jordan

In terms of new loans promised for 2020, only $0.9bn (€0.8bn) has been disbursed, i.e. 14% of the commitments made ($6.9bn - €5.9bn). "It is not appropriate at this stage to analyse loan contributions against pledges for 2020 and beyond in a meaningful way at the country level. The analysis of loan contributions can only be meaningful over a longer multi-year period, and therefore the analysis of lending for 2020 and beyond at the country level is limited to the analysis of the pledge rather than the contribution," the report insists, however.

Jordan accounts for 36% of the loan pledges ($2.5bn - €2.1bn) for 2020 and beyond and 94% of the total contributions already made to new loan pledges for 2020 and beyond.

However, European Commission experts consider this funding to be insufficient in relation to the needs of all sectors. They point to the support needed for more than 11 million people in need in Syria but also for the 5.6 million refugees in other countries in the region. All the more so as the situation worsened in 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic and the explosion of the port of Beirut.

The report concludes that "despite the generosity of donors, the Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria (HRP) and the Regional Plan for Refugees and Resilience are only 43% and 28% funded respectively".

These two plans have a total confirmed funding of $2.8bn (€2.4bn) compared to the $9.8bn (€8.4bn) needed.

See the financial report on the follow-up of the Brussels conference on support to Syria and the region.
 


Frédéric Dubessy


Friday, October 16th 2020



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