Thai government donates aid to Syrian refugees


In keeping with its long track record of providing humanitarian aid and assistance to those fleeing war conflict, the Royal Thai Government pledged a token amount of $200,000 in funds to for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced last week.

“Providing humanitarian assistance to victims of conflict and disasters all over the world has been a long-standing policy of the Royal Thai Government,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in announcing the donation.

The aid will be channeled in equal tranches of $100,000 each to the governments of Jordan and Lebanon. Both nations are adjacent to Syria and have opened their borders to the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing fighting between Syrian government forces, the Islamic State and other armed groups. At least three million refugees are now sheltered in the two countries, which are straining their resources to provide for them.

“Having monitored closely the humanitarian situation in Syria, Thailand has recognized the burden born by Lebanon and Jordan in providing shelters, humanitarian assistance, and healthcare for Syria refugees since the onset of the crises in 2011. Increasing numbers of refugees are in dire need of food, water, medicine, and temporary shelters,” Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement released last week.

Thailand has plenty of experience with refugee situations. Because of its relative political and social stability, the Kingdom has been a haven for decades for countless refugees fleeing war and conflict in neighboring countries. The Kingdom has sheltered and assisted refugees from Cambodia, Viet Nam, Laos and Myanmar at various times since the 1970s. More than 100,000 refugees from Myanmar are still living in camps in Western Thailand.

Thailand’s commitment to peace and protection for the vulnerable also extends beyond its immediate region. The Kingdom has provided troops on several occasions for United Nations peacekeeping contingents as far away as Africa, and was the lead nation supervising peacekeeping efforts in East Timor, now Timor-Leste.

“In addition to this financial assistance, the Royal Thai Government has provided humanitarian assistance to the conflict-affected areas in the Middle East and Arab region,” the Ministry said.

“In 2014, Thailand donated $200,000 to Palestine through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in response to the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.  More recently, Thailand contributed $100,000 to Yemen to assist people affected by the ongoing conflict in Yemen through the Yemen Red Crescent Society (YRCS).”