Published: Thu, April 26, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Donors pledge $4.4b in Syria aid for 2018

Donors pledge $4.4b in Syria aid for 2018

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.

The independent network of 61 INGOs implementing development and humanitarian programmes responding to the needs of vulnerable Jordanians, Syrian, Palestine and Iraqi refugees living in Jordan urged for the partnership between Jordan and the worldwide community to "combine sustained funding in support of Jordan's leadership and economic needs, with a response that is needs and rights-based, as committed to in the final Brussels document".

"My best guess is that by the end of the day we will have heard pledges for 2018 of $4.4bn", Mark Lowcock, the head of UNOCHA, told a news conference.

"The European Union, as a whole, has pledged nearly $6 billion until 2019", Stylianides said, adding that the previously promised $3 billion for Syrian refugees in Turkey would be mobilized by the EU during the coming two years.

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.

He added that Turkey hosts more than 3.5 million registered Syrians, "without any discrimination in terms of their ethnicity or beliefs".

More than 700,000 people have been forced from their homes since the start of this year, as the Assad government steps up its offensive against rebel forces, intensifying the humanitarian crisis.

Kono also announced that Japan will provide emergency financial aid worth 14 million dollars to Syrian refugees, including those who have fled to Jordan and Lebanon.

These amounts will make it possible to help the Syrian population and to establish the conditions in Syria conducive to the voluntary, safe and sustainable return of the refugees when the time is right. The failure to reach the United Nations goal at the pledging conference showed the challenge for Syria as other conflicts, from Afghanistan to Myanmar, also demand attention and money. "It is a natural phenomenon as the conflict continues year after year", Steiner said.

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 would like our appeal today to have been fully funded", he said.

Europe hoped to use the conference to reinvigorate the faltering UN-led peace process in Geneva, but it was not clear how effective the push was.

Meanwhile, U.N. Syria envoy Staffan De Mistura has warned that the northern, rebel-held province of Idlib could become Syria's newest humanitarian crisis area.

"After seven years of conflict that continues to see escalation after escalation, the needs of Syrians have never been higher", said Mueller, the United Nations assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs. They also called for the "protection" of civilians in northern Syria, where fighting in Idlib and Afrin, has created hundreds of thousands of newly displaced people.

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