Canada’s response to the conflict in Syria
The ongoing conflict in Syria has triggered the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. According to the United Nations, 13.5 million people inside Syria need urgent help, including 6.5 million who are internally displaced. It is estimated that well over 250,000 people have died in the conflict, with hundreds of thousands more wounded. Almost 4.6 million Syrians have sought refuge in the neighbouring countries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. Thousands more have made the harrowing journey to Europe in search of a better life.
Canada has given generously to the various international efforts to support the Syrian people, including those living as refugees in neighboring countries. To date, Canada has committed almost 1 billion in humanitarian, development and security assistance in response to the Syria crisis.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada's new strategy to address the ongoing crises in Iraq and Syria, including further increases over the next three years to Canada's security, stabilization, humanitarian and development assistance.
The Government of Canada, working with Canadians, including private sponsors, non-governmental organizations, and provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, has welcomed more than 25,000 Syrian refugees since the announcement of this goal in November 2015.
As millions of Syrians continue to be displaced due to the conflict in their home country, the Government of Canada’s commitment will continue in 2016. Given that the original initiative included privately sponsored refugees, more government-supported refugees will be resettled to meet a specific target of 25,000 government-supported Syrian refugees. Find out more about the plan.
Working through experienced humanitarian partners, Canada’s humanitarian assistance funding is helping to meet the food, shelter, health, protection and emergency education needs of Syrians affected by the crisis.
Syria Emergency Relief Fund
- Canada announces final tally of Syria Emergency Relief Fund and additional programming through Canadian and international partners (April 2016)
On September 12, 2015, the Government of Canada launched the Syria Emergency Relief Fund to support humanitarian relief efforts in response to the conflict in Syria. For every eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians between September 2015 and February 2016 in response to the crisis, the government set aside one dollar in the fund. Canadians generously donated a total of $31.8 million, which the Government of Canada is matching.
Canada is supporting development projects to help countries in the region cope with the impacts of the crisis in Syria, notably the influx of millions of Syrian refugees, and to address the long-term development challenges facing these countries, in particular through the delivery of basic services, such as education.
Security and stability initiativesCanada is providing security-related assistance to address the impact of the Syrian crisis, both in Syria and in the region. 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 counter-terrorism capacity. Canada's stabilization assistance includes support for civil administration, accountability, independent media and secure communications to the Syrian activists and civil society members.
|Country||Amount (in millions of dollars)|
|Security and stabilization assistance|
|Total Canadian assistance||978.51|
*This figure includes $17 million contributed by Canada to support the investigation of alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria and the subsequent destruction of Syria’s declared chemical weapons stocks.
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