Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced Australia would increase its assistance for Syria, with a further $5 million for medical treatment and food supplies for refugees and for families in areas worst affected by civil war.
Speaking following the Friends of Syria meeting in Paris (overnight July 6 AEST), Senator Carr said Syria's humanitarian crisis had escalated, with more than a million civilians homeless, and 78,000 having fled to refugee camps.
"Syria's internal conflict is at a tipping point," Senator Carr said.
"Tragically, more than 10,000 Syrians have lost their lives, and hundreds of thousands are in urgent need of aid.
"Australia has taken a lead in calling for a unified international response to end the bloodshed.
"But we must also act to address the humanitarian crisis, with medical supplies, food and shelter. This additional funding is a step forward in helping the thousands of Syrian civilians caught up in the struggle against the Assad regime.
Senator Carr said the additional $5 million in aid would bring Australia's total contribution to Syria to $16 million.
Around $2 million of the additional funds would support non-government organisations providing medical aid in Syria's conflict zones. It builds on existing Australian assistance of food and health care for 350,000 people and the medical evacuation of 500 seriously wounded civilians to Lebanon.
Another $2 million will assist the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees support the increasing number of Syrians fleeing their country.
The remaining $1 million will go towards the OCHA Syrian Emergency Response Fund towards the work of NGO humanitarian organisations and United Nations agencies inside Syria.
The additional funds follows similar recent commitments by the United States ($12.8m), United Kingdom (£9 m), Germany (€2m) and Japan ($5m).
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