The UK is now the second or third largest donor of aid to Syria

26 October 2016
What was claimed

The UK is the second largest bilateral humanitarian aid donor to Syria.

Our verdict

The UK used to be the second largest aid donor to Syria since 2012, but it is now third behind Germany, according to the United Nations.

“It is this country that is the second biggest bilateral donor in relation to humanitarian aid in the Syrian region.”

Theresa May, 26 October 2016

According to the United Nations’ Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs the UK used to be the second largest contributor of aid to Syria since the conflict began last year, something we wrote about at the time.

But the UN now reports that the UK was the third largest donor over the last five years, behind the United States and Germany. It puts the UK’s aid at just under $2 billion compared to Germany’s $2.4 billion and the United States’ $5.9 billion.

Based on the average exchange rate for 2015/2016, the UK has contributed roughly £1.3 billion. This tallies with what the Department for International Development says it has allocated as of August 2016.

DfID told us that the UK is still the second largest bilateral donor of humanitarian aid, which is what the Prime Minister was talking about. It said that much of the aid Germany provides is for longer term development rather than basic necessities such as food, water and sanitation.

It may be that this is one of those situations where it all depends on exactly what you measure. We’ll look into it further.

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