19 Dec 2014
Italy and the European Commission have signed an agreement to create a European trust fund to mobilize and channel aid for the crisis in Syria. The fund kicks off with a donation of 20 million euros from the European budget and 3 million euros from Italy, the first donor, said the European diplomatic service, adding that ”additional funding” has been pledged for 2015. The initial aim of the fund is to aid Syrian refugees and guest countries. The European trust fund, according to a statement by the Commission, comes in addition to the EU aid package worth 180 million euros for Syria, Lebanon and Jordan for 2014, approved by the Commission on December 4, and means to enable the EU and single countries to intervene jointly, guaranteeing management efficiency so it can operate with general costs well under 5%. It can also be an instrument for post-war reconstruction. It is aimed mainly at Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. ”The crisis of Syrian refugees is the most serious in the past decades in the European neighbourhood”, said EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, recalling that already in the trip to the Middle East carried out in November she had ”confirmed the European determination in aiding millions of refugees and guest countries”. The fund, she added, ”will significantly increase European assistance” while the EU maintains its ”engagement to reach a political solution to the crisis in Syria”.