Monday, 20 August, 2018

United Nations expects over $4bn in pledges for Syria

Affected Syrian children receive medical treatment after an alleged poisonous-gas attack in Douma Eastern Ghouta RELATED READINGWho believes Russia's fake news about'fake Syria chemical attack
Glenn Montgomery | 26 April, 2018, 12:48

The UN has said it will have to "prioritise" aid programmes for the millions of Syrians stricken by war as global donors pledged an estimated $4.4bn in humanitarian assistance for Syria - far short of the $6bn required to meet the basic needs of more than 13 million refugees.

But, he admitted that the U.S. had yet to make a pledge for 2018 and that the figure was almost $2bn lower than at this point at last year's Syria conference.

Around 80 countries, organizations, and partners are attending the donor conference in Brussels.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, said that the global community began to move after the recent chemical attack, which was one of many on the Syrian people, adding that pain was visible on the faces of children and women. "We are talking about a vast sum of money and there is a lot of pressure on the financiers", he said. The regional refugee and resilience response plan requires $5.6 billion to assist over nine million people with protection, humanitarian and resilience support in the neighbouring countries.

Mark Lowcock, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, welcomed the commitments and said that the resources will make a "real difference" for those suffering in the crisis.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who faces elections in two weeks, said the plight of Syrians is simply getting worse. "Lebanon continues to be a big refugee camp", he said.

The second day of the Brussels II conference for Syria opened Wednesday with an emphasis on restarting negotiations for a political solution to the conflict while bolstering humanitarian aid for refugees.

With alleged chemical attack by Bachar El Asad and Western air response still in retina, European Union leaders, United Nations and Middle East countries have met this Wednesday in Brussels to raise new aid to victims of Syrian war.

The two organizations had hoped pledges would match last year's levels of 5.6 billion euros (6.8 billion US dollars) in aid for 2017 and 3.47 billion euros for 2018-2020.

Staffan de Mistura, the UN's special envoy to Syria, warned on Tuesday of a looming new crisis among the 2.5 population of Idlib in the country's northwest, following the fall of eastern Ghouta to regime forces.

European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said Moscow and Tehran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's key supporters, had a duty to help wind down the war, now in its eighth year. "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.

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