Last week the International Development Secretary Justine Greening updated the House on the London Syria Conference and the UK’s response to the Syria crisis. She delivered extremely important news, which I have broken down below, although I would encourage everyone to read the full statement found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/justine-greening-statement-to-parliament-on-syria
The Syrian conflict has created untold misery for the Syrian people, at the hands of the Assad regime and Daesh. There are 13.5 million people in desperate need, and 4.6 million refugees.
Our efforts, to help Syrians in Syria, refugees, and to defeat Daesh, are having a real impact. However, we must remain focused on ensuring political discussions between the key parties restart in order to create a lasting solution for the region.
On a humanitarian level, our efforts have doubled. On Thursday 4th February the UK brought together over 60 countries and organisations including 33 heads of state and Governments. Countries, donors and businesses all stepped up and raised new funds for this crisis to the amount of over £7.7 billion. This included £4 billion for 2016 and another £3.6 billion for 2017-2020. This was the largest ever amount committed in response to a humanitarian crisis in a single day. More has been raised in the first five weeks of this year for the Syria crisis than in the whole of 2015. The UK, once again, played our part. We announced that we would be doubling our commitment – increasing our total pledge to Syria and the region to over £2.3 billion.
Politically the UK continues to call on all sides to take steps to create the conditions for peace negotiations to continue. In particular Russia must use its influence over the Syrian regime to put a stop to indiscriminate attacks and unacceptable violations of international law.
Militarily, the Global Coalition, working with partner forces, has put further pressure on Daesh. Iraqi forces, with Coalition support, have retaken large portions of Ramadi. In Syria, the Coalition has supported the capture of the Tishreen Dam and surrounding villages as well as areas south of al-Hawl. As of 5th February, RAF Typhoon, Tornado and Reaper aircraft have flown over 2,000 combat missions and carried out more than 585 successful strikes across Syria and Iraq.
The UK has been in the vanguard of efforts, to solve the Syrian crisis, but we can always do more. It is crucial that we secure a political solution to the conflict, without which it will be almost impossible to establish a stable, and secure future for the region.