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Int’l community pledge $7 billion to support Syrian refugees, host communities in 2019

By JT - Mar 16,2019 - Last updated at Mar 16,2019

Planning Minister Mary Kawar meets with EU officials in Brussels on the sidelines of the third Brussels conference on supporting Syrian refugees (Photo courtesy of Planning Ministry)

AMMAN — The international community, on Wednesday and Thursday, at the third Brussels conference on supporting Syrian refugees pledged more than $9 billion in aid and $20 billion in loans for the region and host countries.

The conference aimed to discuss a number of political and financial issues in addition to humanitarian assistance inside Syria, according to a statement sent by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation on Saturday.

The event was chaired by Federica Mogherini, high representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, UN Undersecretary General and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Leukoc and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

During the meeting, Planning Minister Mary Kawar briefed the international community on the challenges facing Jordan because of the Syrian crisis, and the measures taken to alleviate these burdens, the statement said.

During a session dedicated to the improvement of the economic and social conditions in the region, Kawar outlined measures to improve the business environment and increase economic growth, as well as lessons learned during the ongoing Syrian crisis.

She noted that despite the voluntary return of Syrians to their country, which is still limited, Jordan continues to implement measures to facilitate the business environment and undertake reforms which are meant to enhance economic growth and create job opportunities to reduce unemployment in the Kingdom.

The participants reviewed the challenges facing host countries’ economies and stressed the importance of supporting the measures taken by those countries to increase job opportunities and enhance the role of the private sector as a generator of jobs.

They also praised the measures taken by Jordan to deal with the Syrian crisis, including the provision of employment opportunities, according to the statement.

This year’s conference focused on refugee women affected by conflicts and ways of empowering them. A group of leading female figures in humanitarian work and civil society participated with political and international figures to provide women’s perspectives on their future.

The participants also discussed economic and social demographics of the Syrian refugees in Jordan.

They were acquainted with the Jordan response plan for the Syrian crisis of 2019 and its financial requirements for both refugees and host communities.

On the sidelines of the conference, Kawar held a number of meetings with senior officials and discussed means of supporting Jordan. She also outlined the outcomes of the London conference on Jordan.

The commitments made by the donor countries and institutions, which were confirmed by the international community at the third Brussels conference, amounted to $7 billion for 2019 and $2.4 billion in aid for the year 2020 and beyond.

The EU and its member states pledged 6.79 billion euros in aid for the two years and beyond, while donors and international institutions also pledged $20.7 billion in concessional loans for 2019 and 2020, according to the statement.

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