GENEVA, Nov 20 (KUNA) -- The Swiss Foreign ministry said on Tuesday that it is providing the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with support to the amount of USD 530,000 from the funds of Swiss Humanitarian Aid to help Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Moreover, Swiss Humanitarian Aid has decided to provide the UNHCR in Syria with an additional amount of USD 372,000. This money will be used to help internally displaced people to get through the winter.
In total Switzerland's commitment to the crisis-stricken population of Syria, as well as to Syrian refugees in the neighbouring countries of Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey currently stands at USD 15 million.
"The money will be used to purchase heaters, stoves, winter clothes and other items, all of which should help to make life in the refugee camps more bearable in the face of the coming winter. In addition, Switzerland is also sending a Humanitarian Aid expert to assist the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in the region", said the Swiss foreign ministry in a press release from its headquarters in Bern.
Around 420,000 people have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries since the start of the crisis in Syria. Currently, approximately 120,000 Syrian refugees are registered in Turkey. In recent weeks, Swiss Humanitarian Aid sent two assessment teams to Turkey to determine how Switzerland can support the country as well as, in consultation with relevant authorities, the international organizations active in the region in their attempts to care for the Syrian refugees. Based on the results, Humanitarian Aid has decided to provide the UNHCR with support in the amount of USD 530,000.
With winter just around the corner, the money will be used to adapt the infrastructure of the refugee camps to meet the colder conditions. Consequently, heaters, stoves, blankets and winter clothing will be bought to make life in the camps more bearable for the refugees.
The UNHCR is working together closely with the Turkish Red Crescent and other UN organisations on location with regard to the purchase and distribution of the goods. In addition, Switzerland is also sending a Humanitarian Aid expert to assist the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in its activities in the refugee camps. (end) ta.nfm KUNA 201134 Nov 12NNNN