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Aid for Syrian refugees living in neighbouring countries ‘indispensable’

PACE has said that greater financial support from the international community for refugees in the countries neighbouring Syria is “indispensable”, while calling on these countries to maintain an “open-door” policy.

Approving a resolution based in a report by Manlio di Stefano (Italy, NR), the Assembly pointed out that over 5.3 million Syrian refugees were now living in neighbouring states of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, placing these countries under “enormous strain”.

The welcoming countries should “maintain an open-door policy” for refugees, giving them temporary legal protection, enhance their legal frameworks in this area, and keep working with the UNHCR, the parliamentarians say in the adopted text.

Council of Europe member States should contribute to the UN plan for these refugees, and substantially increase resettlement and other forms of legal admission from the region, while encouraging non-EU countries such as the US, Russia and the Gulf states to share responsibility.

Helping refugees in these countries now, the Assembly pointed out, creates more favourable conditions for them to return home later.