Canada’s response to the situation in Syria

Since the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, Canada has worked to support the Syrian people. Canada has been active in calling on the international community to come together and defend the rights of the Syrian people to determine its own future.

Canada has also contributed generously to the various international efforts to aid the Syrian people, including those living as refugees in neighbouring countries, support Syrian civil society and counter the threat posed by chemical weapons.

To date, Canada has committed more than $700 million in humanitarian, development and security assistance in response to the Syrian crisis. This support includes the following.

Humanitarian assistance

Since early 2011, the unrest in Syria has led more than 3.8 million Syrians to seek refuge in the nearby countries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, resulting in significant humanitarian needs. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 12.2 million people inside Syria, including 7.6 million who are internally displaced, also need urgent help. It is estimated that more than 200,000 people have died in the ongoing conflict, with hundreds of thousands wounded.

Since January 2012, Canada has committed $403.5 million to international humanitarian assistance in response to the Syrian crisis. This amount includes the $50 million announced by Minister Paradis on January 7, 2015, for conflict-affected people in Syria and neighbouring countries, including Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and the $150 million announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on January 24, 2014, as well as prior commitments. This assistance is delivered through experienced humanitarian partners in response to urgent needs, and it is contributing to significant results on the ground.

Canada has also expanded its commitment to help Syrian refugees by resettling an additional 10,000 Syrians by the end of 2017, bringing to 11,300 the total number of Syrian refugees Canada has committed to resettling. Canada will work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and private sponsors to resettle these Syrian refugees in Canadian communities. Visit Refugees and asylum for more information about Canada’s refugee protection programs.

Development projects

Canada has already committed $230.7 million to support development projects in the region to strengthen government services and infrastructure stressed by the influx of Syrian refugees, specifically in health, education and the delivery of basic services, and to address Jordan’s specific development challenges.

Security and Stability Initiatives

Canada has committed $67.2 million in security-related assistance to address the effects of the Syrian crisis, including $52.51 million for Jordan. These funds will help mitigate the threat of chemical weapons and other weapons and materials of mass destruction, assist Jordanian security forces in managing the non-humanitarian aspects of the influx of Syrian refugees and contribute to Jordan’s counterterrorism capacity. This support also includes $3.8 million in stabilization assistance to Syrian activists and civil society members in areas such as civil administration, accountability, independent media and secure communications.

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