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Home NATIONALHaavisto to visit neighbouring areas of Syria and Kuwait
Sat, 11 Jan, 2014 12:00:09 AM
Ftimes Report, January 11

International Development minister Pekka Haavisto is set to travel to areas neighbouring Syria to get acquainted with the regional impacts of the refugee crisis, said a government press release on Friday.

The press release of the ministry of foreign affairs said the minister would be visiting Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Turkey from January 11 and 17.

He would also participate in the Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait. Haavisto will meet political leaders of these countries and representatives of UN agencies in charge of humanitarian aid, and in Lebanon, he will visit a refugee camp.

With the Syrian crisis continuing for the third winter in a row, half of the country's population was already in need of humanitarian assistance. According to the estimates made by the countries concerned, some three million people have fled from Syria to the neighbouring countries, 2.3 million of whom have registered themselves as refugees.

This is one of the biggest refugee crises in recent history, and there is no end in sight to it. The UN expects the number of refugees to rise above four million by the end of 2014.

The conference convened by the UN Secretary-General in Kuwait on January 15 aims to rally as big pledges of assistance for the victims of the Syrian crisis as possible.

Under the auspices of the UN, humanitarian aid organisations are now running a historically large joint appeal, amounting to EUR 4.8 billion, for having assistance delivered to the 16 million people suffering from the crisis both within Syrian borders and in its neighbouring countries.

Another purpose of the minister's visit is to observe the implementation of humanitarian assistance provided by Finland. Between 2011 and 2013, the humanitarian assistance Finland has provided for Syrian crisis amounted to EUR 20 million, of which EUR 16.3 million was donated in 2013.

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