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The Australian Government has announced that they will be contributing an additional $21.5 million in humanitarian assistance for people affected by the conflict in Syria. This will make a dramatic difference for millions of people. Thank you to everyone who wrote a letter to Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Minister for International Development Melissa Parke. You have made a difference. $21.5 million will provide food, medical supplies, safe drinking water and psychosocial support for millions of women, men and children caught up in this nightmare of a crisis. With the monthly death toll of the Syria conflict now at 5,000 – thousands more than the toll during the height of the Iraq war – Syria is the worst humanitarian crisis facing the world today. We welcome the $21.5 million in extra funding that Australia has just pledged. This will make a huge difference for millions of women, men and children facing deteriorating conditions inside Syria, and those seeking refuge in neighbouring countries like Lebanon and Jordan. The scale of the growing refugee crisis is staggering. In Lebanon, more than 10 per cent of the population are Syrian refugees. Meanwhile, the Zaatari refugee camp – home to 100,000 refugees – is now Jordan’s fifth largest city. But the UN’s appeal for Syria remains significantly underfunded. Just 36 per cent of the $5.2 billion target has been received so far. This gap in funding means hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees are without adequate shelter, and millions of people inside Syria cannot access basic essentials like water and healthcare. With no end in sight to the conflict, Australia can still do much more to support the people of Syria, and called for further increases in humanitarian funding in the coming months. Syrian refugees are likely to be forced to live in neighbouring countries for years to come – and Australia must be in this for the long haul.