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 Conflict in Syria: what the Australian Government is doing


The Australia Government is working with the United Nations and neutral non-government organisations (NGOs) to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people.

Australia has provided over $130 million in response to the Syrian conflict since it began in March 2011. This includes providing $59.5 million in funding to assist those in Syria under the UN’s Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP). It also includes $71.3 million to help refugees and vulnerable host communities in neighbouring countries, under the UN’s Refugee Regional Response Plan (RRP). Australia has provided a further $2 million to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons program.


Australian funding has helped the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to feed 4.25 million people inside Syria each month.


Australia has supported the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) to ensure 10 million people can access clean water.


Australian experts have worked with UNICEF and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to deliver humanitarian aid and support to refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. Australia recognises the enormous generosity offered by neighbouring countries that are hosting large numbers of vulnerable Syrian refugees.


Australian funding has helped UNICEF to conduct vaccination campaigns in Syria and the surrounding region, targeting 25 million children. UNICEF has also provided protection and education for children in and around Syria.


Australian funds have helped the World Health Organisation and other international humanitarian organisations to provide basic health care for over 3 million people including through addressing critical shortages in medical supplies and medicines. Australian aid has also helped to provide emergency medical care and protection against gender based violence for Syrian refugees and the communities that host them.

Other assistance for refugees

In addition to the financial aid Australia has provided to help refugees in Syria and in the region, Australia has welcomed a number of Syrian refugees through its resettlement programme.

The UNHCR has proposed that a total of 30,000 Syrian refugees be resettled by the end of 2014 in those countries who have indicated they are willing to take them. Australia has confirmed it will receive refugees for resettlement in 2014.

For more information on the resettlement of Syrian refugees, download the UNHCR’s resettlement factsheet from February 2014. For more information on the humanitarian situation faced by Syrian refugees, visit the UNHCR’s country operations profile for Syria.