Amman, 28 November 2022 — Humanitarian funding from the European Union (EU) to the tune of EUR 6 million will enable the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to help 321,000 Syrians, mostly girls and women, across 12 Syrian governorates in 2022-2023. The much-needed assistance comprises sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and the prevention and response to gender-based violence (GBV). It is delivered from Damascus and cross-border from Türkiye.

“The cumulative impact of 11 years of conflict and crises has been disastrous to the lives of Syrians. 7.2 million vulnerable women and girls need life-saving assistance and access to basic services,” said Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management. “With humanitarian needs at an all-time high, the EU is committed to maintain a humanitarian lifeline for Syrian women and girls across the country, regardless of whether they are displaced or back home.”

2022 marked another grim milestone for Syrians as the crisis entered its 12th year. For women and girls, the cumulative impact has been catastrophic, upending decades of progress on women’s issues and bringing unprecedented risks that have fundamentally altered their lives. The crisis remains one of the world’s most complex humanitarian and protection emergencies. An estimated 14.6 million people – half of them women and girls – are in need of assistance.

“As in previous years, UNFPA is immensely grateful to the European Union for its unwavering support of our vital programmes in Syria during 2022, a year that continues to bring ever-growing challenges,” said Dr. Himyar Abdulmoghni, UNFPA Syria Representative, a.i. “The programmes made possible through UNFPA’s partnership with the EU are providing irreplaceable lifelines to individuals and communities throughout the country, allowing women and girls to access vital SRH services as well as tailored programming for those at risk or survivors of GBV.”

The support provided by the European Union has also proven crucial to delivering essential services to people in need north-western Syria, where hostilities and mass displacements continue to place lives at risk. As noted by Felicia Jones, the UNFPA Türkiye Cross-Border’s Head of Office, a.i.: “With the generous contribution of the European Union, UNFPA is supporting two key health facilities located in densely populated areas close to expansive internally displaced person camps in north-western Syria. These facilities are the among the few where women and girls can receive gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health services.”

In 2021, UNFPA’s partnership with the EU helped deliver sexual and reproductive health services to more than 124,000 people, while close to 12,000 women and girls received protection from gender-based violence throughout the country in a year where risks of such violence had reached record highs. Following the implementation of these programmes, a regional impact assessment showed that 98 percent of those served reported their complete satisfaction with the assistance they received.

In 2022, UNFPA continues to build on these achievements by consistently incorporating feedback and insights from women and girls served into the design and implementation of these programmes.