The European Union institutions and member states contributed close to 60% more than their original pledges at last year's Brussels Conference on "Supporting the future of Syria and the region", an EU report published today showed. The international community exceeded its pledge by almost 40%. A Third Brussels Conference will take place next week from 12-14 March.

The EU and its Member States contributed €4 billion in 2018. The EU institutions, Germany and the UK were the biggest grant donors to Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Syria in 2018, while the European Investment Bank is the biggest loan donor for the 2018-2020 period.

The financial tracking report looks at progress against pledges made at last year's Brussels II Conference.

At the last Brussels conference on 24-25 April 2018, the international community pledged €3.5 billion in funding to support humanitarian, stabilisation and development activities for 2018 in Syria and the region, and a further €2.9 billion for 2019-2020. International financial institutions and donors also announced almost €17.2 billion in loans for 2018-2020.

The contributions address human and humanitarian needs of Syrian refugees and of the local communities of the countries hosting them.

The report also found that close to a quarter of the grants were in the education sector, 11% of the grants targeted economic recovery and infrastructure while 10% went to food assistance.

According to the report, more than a quarter of the loans were directed towards transport and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and 17% targeted water and sanitation.

The European Union and the United Nations will co-chair the Brussels III Conference on "Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region" next week. The overarching objective of the Brussels Syria Conferences is to support the Syrian people and further mobilise the international community behind the work to achieve a lasting political solution to the Syria crisis, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

Like the two previous editions, Brussels III will also address the most critical humanitarian and resilience issues affecting Syrians and communities hosting Syrian refugees, both inside the country and in the region. It will also reaffirm the international community’s political and financial support for Syria's neighbours, notably Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, as well as Iraq and Egypt. Brussels III will be the main pledging event for Syria and the region in 2019.

The Conference will provide even greater space than previous editions for Syrian, regional and international NGOs and civil society organisations.

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