Following the funding commitment announced by Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Paolo Gentiloni, at the Syrian Donor Conference on February 4, the Italian government has approved giving a total of almost 19 million euros in emergency aid. Most of the money – 14.7 million euros – will be used to finance humanitarian projects to be implemented by Italian NGOs operating in the region, not only in Syria, but also in Lebanon and Jordan.The initiatives regarding Lebanon and Jordan are consistent with Italy’s need to concentrate its interventions upon young people. These include education, creating income and employment opportunities, and vocational training, also with a view to mitigating migratory pressure. The activities in Syria will mainly focus on food safety and on improving basic health conditions of the more vulnerable groups of the civilian population. They will be carried out both in areas controlled by the government and in those controlled by the opposition.
In addition to this amount, a total of 4 million euros will be shared out equally by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to support emergency assistance in the education, childcare and health sectors. These interventions will also regard Lebanon and Jordan, in addition to Syria.All the initiatives are part of the larger, $400 million humanitarian aid package Minister Gentiloni announced in London in February for measures to be implemented from 2016 to 2018.