MR: September 6, 2015 - Refugee crisis in Europe: act now to protect children

Child rights organisation Plan International Australia welcomes the Federal Government’s decision to increase its humanitarian commitment in response to the Syrian refugee crisis, and to commit an extra $44 million to the UN and other agencies working to alleviate the crisis.

The Federal Government earlier announced it will respond to the ongoing Syria refugee crisis by raising Australia’s humanitarian intake by a one-off 12,000 people, and pledged $44 million to the United Nations’ refugee agency UNHCR and other agencies working to alleviate the crisis in the region.

Plan works with partners in Iraq and the Lebanon to provide protection and support for children caught up in the crisis.

“The government’s commitment to helping the people of Syria in their hour of most desperate need deserves all our applause and support. We have seen great suffering in Syria and the surrounding region as a devastating civil conflict has driven millions from their homes, and we all know that these people desperately need our support,” says Plan International Australia CEO Ian Wishart.

“We have been calling for the government to help in this way, and so it is gratifying to see the government step up and provide that support,” Wishart says.

“There are many thousands of children who are being caught up in this dreadful crisis and their young lives have been devastatingly interrupted. It will be fantastic to welcome so many of them, along with their families, to their new homes in Australia,” he says.

Editors’ notes:

Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world, founded 77 years ago, working in 51 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas and supported by 21 donor countries. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.

Media contact: Adam Cathro, Plan International Australia, Media Relations Manager, 0488 202 945