Syria: Donors pledge about 4.4 billion dollars in humanitarian aid for 2018

26 April, 2018, 12:51 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Armin Awad UNCHR in Middle East There was donor fatigue at the beginning of this crisis and the consequence in 2015 was a vast exodus to Europe

Over 80 countries and global organisations are participating in the conference which began Tuesday on future of Syria and the region - co-chaired by the European Union and the UN.

It notes that, according to information received in 2017, 2.3 million people are still living in besieged and hard-to-reach areas. I am glad to announce that delegations here today have made a collective pledge of 4.4 billion US dollars for 2018.

"We want Syrians to know that they are not forgotten, we're appealing on their behave for an end to the violence", said Mark Lowcock, Representative for U.N. Humanitarian Affairs.

The money is needed for humanitarian work inside Syria and to support refugees in neighbouring countries, the United Nations says. They amounted to less than half of the $9.7 billion pledged at a similar conference previous year for 2017-18.

Canada was among 85 delegations attending the donor conference in Brussels, with Liberal Omar Alghabra, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Foreign Affairs, announcing a commitment of $19.5 million US.

"I want particularly to thank the EU, Germany and the United Kingdom who have made exceptionally large pledges today", Lowcock said.

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He said that Kuwait, as a centre of humanitarian works and under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, launched a campaign to help the Syrian refugees by organizing three global conferences in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The plan for response inside Syria require US$3.6 billion to provide life-saving assistance and protection for 13.1 million people.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the opening session Prime Minister Saad Hariri warned that any delay in reaching a political solution to the Syrian crisis was harmful to Lebanon as well as refugees. "Lebanon continues to be a big refugee camp", he said.

United Nations agencies issued an appeal on April 24 urging donor countries to step up contributions to the UN's annual $9.1 billion humanitarian appeal for Syria and neighboring countries, warning that only $2.3 billion had been received so far.

Mogherini underlined that the European Union - along with many around the table Wednesday - refuses to help rebuild Syria until meaningful peace moves to end the conflict resume in Geneva. "If you look at what's happened and what's been done to people - breaches of humanitarian laws, the weakening of multilateral norms that we have seen for a long time - it's all focusing on Syria", he said.

"It was the closest moment to what one could say a very tense Cold War.", Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy to Syria said.

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