Syrian conflict: $10 bn pledged for Syrian aid

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David Cameron
David Cameron, talking to the Syria aid conference in London

In a recent meeting of donor nations, held in London, different nations pledged a total amount of 10 billion dollars to help affected Syrians, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced.

The European Union has pledged $3.3bn (€3bn; £2.3bn) this year and intends to “maintain this level of financing” for 2017 and beyond.

The UK pledged an extra $1.7bn until 2020, Germany committed to $2.6bn until 2018, France said it would give $1bn and the US pledged an extra $925m for 2016.

Australia, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Japan, the UAE, Austria, Switzerland, Estonia, Denmark and Finland, along with the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, were among those who also committed funds.

The conference, attended by 30 world leaders, had been hoping to raise $9bn – a total made up of a UN appeal for $7.7bn and about $1.3bn requested by regional host governments.

The British Prime Minster said that the aid would be used for “live saving”, food, medical, and shelter.
More jobs will be provided for refugees in neighbouring countries, he said

As peace talks in Geneva collapsed owing opposition anger due to continuing Russian air strikes in Aleppo, the hope for ending the war has relinquished. Though the conference has been a financial success, the prospects for ending the war in Syria look bleaker than ever, says BBC’s diplomatic correspondent James Robbins.

The talks are expected to resume on February 25.

ALSO READ: Syrian peace talks begin in Geneva

Mr Cameron said at the end of the day-long conference that $6bn had been pledged for 2016 alone, and a further $5bn over the coming years until 2020.

He said Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon – which are housing most of the 4.6 million refugees – had also pledged to ensure all refugee children will have access to education.

“The international union is backing them with the resources which will allow them to ensure there is no lost generation,” he said, adding that one million children currently not in school would have access to education by the end of the next school year.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailed the gathering of 60 countries as a “great success”.

“Never has the international community raised so much money on a single day for a single crisis,” he said.

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The Syrian conflict that broke out as a rebellion against the Alawite-led Bashar-ul-Asaad government turned to a civil war when Jihadist group like ISIS from Iraq and Al-Nusra joined the rebels. Right now half of the Syria is under the government siege and the other half under the opposition’s. Thousands have been killed in the conflict and of the 22 million population of Syria, half of it, i.e. 11 million has fled to other countries. Citizens under the regime’s siege, unable to receive food and water, are turning to living skeletons, and many have died due to hunger and malnutrition.