The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - April 1, 2019
In this issue:

◢  Syria / French response to emergency needs in Al Hol – Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (April 1, 2019)

◢  Food security – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne's participation in the high-level event entitled "Food and agriculture in times of crisis" (Brussels - April 2, 2019)

◢  Union of the Comoros – Elections (March 24, 2019)

◢  Syria

◢  Elections in Ukraine

 
Syria / French response to emergency needs in Al Hol – Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (April 1, 2019)

France made a long-term commitment to the populations in northeastern Syria, especially the displaced persons and refugees. We have therefore been supporting the humanitarian response in the camps and sites for displaced persons since 2017. Within the framework of the €50 million emergency response program for Syria, we have provided more than €12 million to support these extremely vulnerable populations.

Needs have increased since December 2018, following the displacement of tens of thousands of people in northeastern Syria, the majority of them women and children. In the face of the scale of the humanitarian crisis, I have decided to increase our efforts in the camps in the region, notably the Al Hol camp, which currently houses 70,000 people in particularly difficult conditions.

In this context, France will immediately strengthen its support for the humanitarian NGOs in the camps and informal sites in the region and especially in Al Hol, by providing the populations with tents, basic necessities, food assistance and access to water, amounting to €500,000. Furthermore, additional funding of €500,000 has been allocated to the NGO Un Ponte Per to improve the functioning of two health centers established and supported by France since 2017 in the Al Hol camp which already provides more than 2,000 patient consultations every month.

I have therefore decided to allocate or reallocate a total of almost €1 million to humanitarian activities in the camps and sites for displaced persons and refugees in northeastern Syria in order to help provide these populations with dignified living conditions.



Food security – Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne's participation in the high-level event entitled "Food and agriculture in times of crisis" (Brussels - April 2, 2019)

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will deliver a speech at the opening of the high-level event entitled "Food and agriculture in times of crisis," organized by the European Commission within the framework of the Global Network Against Food Crises, a coordination platform launched in 2016 by the EU, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Food Program.

The meeting in Brussels will provide the ministers and experts attending the event with an opportunity to exchange views on food security worldwide and on efforts aimed at eradicating food crises. The Global Report on Food Crises 2019 will be presented during the event.

During his speech, the minister will stress France's efforts under its G7 presidency, whose theme this year was the fight against inequality. The G7 development ministers meeting on July 4 in Paris will focus on the Sahel, which suffers from a combination of weakness, inequality and extreme poverty. The ministers will review concrete commitments to job creation for rural youth in agriculture and farming as well as the fight against malnutrition.

Since 2014, the UN has noted a deterioration in the food security situation under the combined effect of conflict and climate change. The number of malnutrition victims reached 821 million in 2017, or 11% of the global population, including 124 million from people in 50 countries that are experiencing severe food insecurity.



Union of the Comoros – Elections (March 24, 2019)

France has been monitoring the situation in the Comoros since the election on March 24. It deplores the violence and tensions that were seen on the day of the vote and in the days following the proclamation of provisional results by the Independent National Electoral Commission, on which the Supreme Court must rule on April 3.

France took note of the joint statement issued by the election observation missions of the African Union, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF), which regretted the tensions and failings observed on March 24 that prevented them from making an objective statement "on the transparency and credibility of the vote." Along with the president of the AU Commission, France is urging the authorities of the Comoros, as well as all other political actors, to show the utmost restraint and to resolve their dispute through an inclusive dialogue. France applauds the African Union's willingness to assist the parties in the Comoros in finding a solution to the situation.



Syria

The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria said it has received information concerning an upcoming Belgian-French provocation to use chemical weapons in Syria, with the aim of subsequently accusing Russia. Do you have any comment on this information?

This is not information but rather a gross lie typical of those of this center established by the Russian and Syrian authorities.



Elections in Ukraine

How do you assess the organization and results of the first round of the presidential election in Ukraine?

We are awaiting the publication of the preliminary report of the election observation mission of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, which is due today.


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