Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Additional Funding to the White Helmets Search and Rescue Efforts [February 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 9 February 2023.

Given the difficulties in accessing affected areas in North West Syria, the UK will be providing additional funding to aid major search-and-rescue operations.

  • Increased support to provide life-saving Search and Rescue and emergency relief operations in North West Syria.
  • At least an additional £3m funding, bringing our total to £3.8m, which will enable enhanced operational capacity of the White Helmets (Syria Civil Defence)
  • This will support recovery projects including assessing building safety, reopening roads and reconnecting utilities.
  • Over 2,500 White Helmets volunteers are involved in the response across some 40 communities in northwest Syria.

Minister of State for the Middle East, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said:

The White Helmets are playing a critical and life-saving role in Syria in the most desperate circumstances following the earthquakes.

The UK is proud of our longstanding partnership with them. The White Helmets, throughout the conflict, have demonstrated unwavering commitment and dedication. This has included saving over 115,000 lives and providing essential services to more than four million Syrians.

Our collective priority now is to ensure life-saving assistance is given to those most in need. The White Helmets are best placed to deliver this in North West Syria.

The UK is giving at least an additional £3m to aid the White Helmets major search-and-rescue operations. This takes our total funding to the White Helmets this week to £3.8m following the announcement on 7 February by Lord Ahmad.