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Nicholson welcomes increase in UK Government aid to Syria

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has welcomed the announcement from the UK Government that a further £100million in aid will be sent to support refugees in camps near Syria. He spoke after Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond met with ECR Group MEPs in Brussels this week.

Mr Nicholson said:

"If we are to tackle the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa, it is vital that the issue is addressed at source. Increasing aid to refugees in camps near conflict areas can go some way to providing for emergency treatment and the basic needs of those displaced by conflict.  Direct aid also helps take away the need for many to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, thus disrupting people traffickers' activities.

"Long term solutions are needed. For the crisis to end, some stability needs to be brought to the region. That is why it is so important that we halt the advance of ISIS and other terror groups, and provide direct aid and assistance to victims who have been displaced.

"I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss a number of these issues this week in Brussels with UK Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond.

"I also highlighted the importance of the ongoing EU renegotiations for Northern Ireland, due to the fact that we are the only part of the UK to share a land border with another EU member state. For example, the weakness of the Euro against the Pound has hit our small businesses and farmers much harder than their counterparts in GB."

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