United Nations comes up short for Syria 2018 refugee funds

United Nations comes up short for Syria 2018 refugee funds

United Nations comes up short for Syria 2018 refugee funds

Representatives from 85 countries and non-governmental organizations attended the second Brussels Conference on "Supporting the Future of Syria and the region".

I am glad to announce that delegations here today have made a collective pledge of 4.4 billion US dollars for 2018.

Britain announced 450 million pounds ($630 million, 515 million euros) for 2018 and another 300 million pounds for 2019, while Germany said it would donate more than a billion euros and the European Union pledged some 560 million euros.

According to United Nations data, the Syrian crisis over the past six years has caused 330,000 deaths and displaced half of the country's population, with 13.5 million people in need of humanitarian aid.

The E.U. policy chief said the fundraising will support early recovery in Syria in hopes of returning electricity and water to affected areas.

Moreover, it pledged United States dollars 1.6 billion in these conferences and also paid the sum in full, he noted.

"The bitter truth is that despite all our combined efforts conditions have deteriorated".

Some 6.1 million people are now internally displaced in Syria, more than five million have fled the country and 13 million including six million children are in need of aid, according to the UN. "Lebanon continues to be a big refugee camp".

"The response of the world's richest countries to the conflict remains tragically inadequate - insufficient aid, not enough help for refugees and no meaningful peace process", Oxfam's Shaheen Chugtai said.

Hivin Kako, the executive director of the Bihar Relief Organisation, a Syrian NGO providing aid in northern Syria, called for global donors to work harder to meet the $6bn target, but warned that a lack of discussion of the situation in northern Syria, where Turkish forces are engaged in military action, risked ignoring the reality of the situation on the ground. The geographical advances of the regime show just how much Assad has gained in the north, and that is changing the game.

Federica Mogherini, the EU's foreign affairs representative, said it was "not realistic for any worldwide institutions to give money to Assad".

European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini urged Moscow and Tehran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's key supporters, to help bring him to the negotiating table, saying they had a duty to help wind down the war, now in its eighth year.

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura on Tuesday urged the worldwide community not to allow a new humanitarian catastrophe to unfold in the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib, on the Turkish border, which has seen a massive influx of people fleeing the conflict. "We are looking forward to the day when we can use this material, because the reconstruction of Syria must include acknowledging, investigating and prosecuting crimes".

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