Luxembourg Published on 20.11.13 15:15

Grand Duchess brings smiles to refugee camp

Syrian refugees living in a camp in Turkey rubbed shoulders with royalty on Wednesday when Luxembourg's Grand Duchess Maria Teresa paid a visit.

Grand Duke Henri's wife, accompanied by a delegation from Luxembourg, called in at Nizip 2 refugee camp in the Gaziantep region (southeastern Anatolia) as part of their five-day state visit to the Republic of Turkey.

Prefab container homes

The site houses around 5,500 refugees, who escaped the conflict in Syria and fled to Turkey and now live in prefabricated container houses and tents.

Since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011, more than 100,000 Syrians have died, 6.5 million have been displaced and 9.3 million are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

So far, the Luxembourg government has given 7.6 million euros to support humanitarian projects in Syria and neighbouring countries, including Turkey.

During their visit, the delegation announced Luxembourg would make further donations of half a million euros to fund two projects in Turkey where around half a million Syrians have sought refuge over the past two years.

Further Luxembourg funding

The first donation of 250,000 euros will be given to UNICEF to fund the construction of a school in the town of Nizip, which will accommodate the thousand children who will be able to return to school in addition to the 70,000 refugee children who already attend school in Turkey.

The second 250,000 euros will be donated to the World Food Programme and its food assistance programme, which allows Syrian families to choose their food and prepare their own meals according to their habits and customs.

“This type of innovative assistance, that respects the dignity of those in need of assistance, also supports the local economy,” the Luxembourg government said in a statement.

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