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EU contributes €500 million to help Syrian refugees

Flickr: Freedom House

I’ve written on the refugee crisis in Syria, asking why the US is not doing more to accommodate refugees. If you don’t know how dire the situation is in Syria, let me tell you.

9 million Syrians have been displaced from homes since civil war broke out in Syria four years ago. Neighboring countries have welcomed and accepted millions of refugees from Syria.

-Jordan accepted 629,266 Syrian refugees.

-Lebanon welcomed 1.1 million Syrian refugees.

-Turkey took 1.9 million Syrian refugees.

-Iraq made room for 249,463 Syrian refugees, and Egypt opened doors to 132,375 Syrian refugees.

Europe has taken in A LOT more refugees than the US. The US has only accepted 1,500 Syrian refugees in the past four years. The US pledges to welcome another 10,000 in the next year. But Germany will be taking in 500,000 over the next five years.

Tonight, two fierce, famous and persistent philanthropists are here to discuss the Syrian refugee crisis further, and then the First Vice President of the European Union will join them in announcing an extraordinary shift in development aid for the Syrian refugee crisis.

Why are Salma Hayek Pinault Co-Founder of CHIME FOR CHANGE and Queen Rania taking action on the Syrian refugee crisis?

Being at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival, I can see that Salma Hayek Pinault, Co-Founder of CHIME FOR CHANGE and Queen Rania of Jordan are arguably two of the most gorgeous women in the world. And I can say that their activism reaches beyond beauty towards something much deeper. These two women carry personal insight into the dire need for assistance from European countries to not just take in, but welcome refugees from Syria.

This year, Salma Hayek Pinault, Co-Founder of CHIME FOR CHANGE visited Lebanon, where she personally met with refugee families including children fleeing homes in Syria. Salma is leading the CHIME for Education campaign which raises funds for girls education and is part of the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action. Through CHIME for Education, Salma teamed with UNICEF to raise funds for children in out-of-school areas in Syria and surrounding countries. Salma has raised over $12,000 and you can support CHIME for the children of Syria here.

Queen Rania helped support over half a million refugees settle and seek asylum in Jordan--a country with a population of 6.6 million. That’s nearly 2 million less than New York city.

The countries supporting millions of Syrian refugees need assistance. These are small countries and the way development aid works currently does not allow for an easy solution when a massive influx of refugees arises such as in the case of Syria.

That’s why Salma Hayek Pinault, the Co-Founder of CHIME FOR CHANGE and Queen Rania of Jordan are asking for other countries (especially European) to take in more refugees from Syria and also increase refugee aid funds.

And First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans is here to share some exciting news and respond to Hayek and many others call for more action from the EU on the refugee crisis in Syria.

The EU created a Trust Fund in with 500 million Euros to help refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and others who have taken on millions of refugees from Syria.

Timmermans promises that these funds will be separate from the current development aid budget so other countries do not lose funding for aid. Funds will only go to regional areas helping Syrian refugees.

“We want this money to focus on education, livelihoods, food security. To target especially children and young people,” announced Timmermans.

This is incredibly fantastic news and Timmermans encourages all other European countries to support this separate trust fund solely for Syrian refugees so that the Trust Fund for Syrian refugees reaches over 1 billion euros.

Go to TAKE ACTION NOW and write to President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry & Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson & tell them to do more for Syria's refugees.