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Australia one of the biggest donors to Syrian crisis

The war in Syria continues to cause a humanitarian crisis for the region, two years since the start of the civil war.

Described as the “largest humanitarian operation in history” by the United Nations, the number of Syrian refugees has reached 2 million people, more than half of them children. The refugees have mostly found sanctuary in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.

In June, the United Nations launched the biggest humanitarian appeal in its history, requesting $4.4 billion in donations by the end of 2013 under two main plans: the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan (SHARP) and the Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP).

So far this year, the international community has raised more than $3.1 billion in humanitarian aid for Syria, according to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS), a global database of recorded humanitarian aid managed by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Almost $2.2 billion of these funds have been raised under the two UN appeals.

For a country that is almost 14,000 kilometres away from the turmoil, Australia contributed over $64.5 million in humanitarian aid for 2013, making up 2.1 per cent of all donations to Syria. Another commitment by the Federal Government of $21.5 million at the end of July brought Australia’s total humanitarian donation to Syria since the conflict’s origins to $100 million.

This makes Australia the 7th highest donor to the Syrian crisis in 2013, and the 10th highest donor based on the proportion of GDP – higher than the United States.

Kuwait is among the largest humanitarian aid donors based on the proportion of its GDP.

The Point

Australia one of the biggest donors to Syrian humanitarian crisis

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