Syria: children freezing to death,Italy to sent 1.5mln euros

'We must act to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe', Italian FM

05 December, 15:49

(ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, DECEMBER 5 - In announcing EUR 1.5 million in immediate aid for Syrian refugees, Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said that the humanitarian emergency ''is extremely urgent, and we must prevent a humanitarian catastrophe''. The refugees are in camps on Syria's borders in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, where there are ''300,000 refugees'', and where ''children are already freezing to death, as I have been told by the head of the Syrian opposition''.

Terzi noted that a plane would be leaving from Brindisi with the aid ''over the coming hours''.

The Italian foreign minister said that ''the humanitarian emergency that has been created by this extremely serious Syrian crisis has been Italy's top priority from the very beginning. We tried to get the international community to act and we were among those who pushed the most for UN and EU programmes to help the refugees.'' He went on to say that ''there are already 300,000 refugees in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. We have arranged for additional, substantial aid to be delivered over the next few hours, over 1.5 million euros' worth, including heating systems. Children are already freezing to death in some camps in Jordan, as I have been told by the leader of the Syrian opposition.'' The minister then said that, as seen in the foreign ministers dinner at NATO headquarters, other European countries ''are putting forth massive efforts'' for humanitarian aid, noting that German Foreign Minister Westerwelle is preparing to allocate 70 million euros and that Italy will set aside 20 million euros ''from the beginning of next year''.

(ANSAmed).

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