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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The Foreign Relations Minister for Brazil, Mauro Vieira, announced on Thursday that the Brazilian government would donate US$1.3 million for those afflicted by the conflicts in Syria. Minister Vieira is among the dozens of foreign officials in London participating in an international conference to discuss humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.

Brazil, Syrians obtain Brazilian documents for work at a refugee center set up in São Paulo city
Syrians obtain Brazilian documents for work at a refugee center set up in São Paulo city, photo by Fabio Arantes/Secom.

“This is a human tragedy of epic proportions, one that affects all of humanity,” said Minister Vieira to fellow dignitaries at the London conference, “A drama that has turned far too many average Syrian citizens into victims for the international community to ignore.”

According to the Brazilian official the country has also purchased US$1.85 million worth of food supplies, especially rice, to send to the war-torn country. “In spite of the fiscal and budgetary adjustment my government is currently carrying out, Brazil sees humanitarian assistance to those in need as a responsibility we cannot shy away from,” he said.

Minister Vieira stated that these aid efforts have a limited impact if a meaningful political solution is not reached soon. “There cannot be a military solution for the Syrian crisis … a political solution is the only road there is,” he told the audience.

In September of 2015 Brazil extended by two years its humanitarian visa policy for Syrians. The Ministry’s data shows that more than 2,000 Syrians fleeing the war have arrived in Brazil since 2013, and another 7,000 visas have already been issued.

In all, participants in Thursday’s London meeting have pledged to donate more than US$11 billion to Syria until 2020. The largest donors include Germany, Uk, France and the United States.

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