News / Middle East

Donors to Increase Humanitarian Aid for Syria

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah (C), U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (L) and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid al-Hamad al-Sabah (R) attend the opening session of the Syrian Donors Conference at Bayan Palace Liberation Hall in Ku
Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah (C), U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (L) and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid al-Hamad al-Sabah (R) attend the opening session of the Syrian Donors Conference at Bayan Palace Liberation Hall in Ku
International donors met in Kuwait City Wednesday to make pledges of new funding to address the humanitarian needs of Syria's civil war.
 
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that more than nine million Syrians urgently need humanitarian assistance, nearly half of them children.
 
“Military attacks continue to target schools, health care facilities, and residential areas. Syria once had a strong health infrastructure. Now two out of five hospitals, 40 percent, no longer function,” said Ban.
 
In its largest ever combined humanitarian appeal, the United Nations is asking for $6.5 billion through the end of this year for food, water, medical care, and shelter. $2.4 billion have already been pledged.

New Humanitarian Aid Pledges for Syria

Kuwait - $500 million
Saudi Arabia - $60 million
Qatar -  $60 million
US - $380 million
EU - $225 million
Norway -  $75 million
Britain - $164 million

Pledges made at the donors' conference in Kuwait on Jan. 15, 2014.
U.N. emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos said that both government troops and the armed opposition are besieging civilians inside Syria.
 
“The very fabric of society has unraveled and sectarianism has taken hold. Siege has become a weapon of war with thousands of people blockaded in their communities, running out of supplies, and unable to get basic services,” said Amos.
 
The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah, opened the conference with a pledge of $500 million. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced $380 million in additional assistance, bringing Washington's humanitarian total since the crisis began to more than $1.7 billion for displaced civilians inside Syria as well as for refugees and host communities in neighboring countries.
 
“The humanitarian situation in Syria is an outrage that should offend every reasonable conscience. And the anguish of the Syrian people demands our collective action,” said Kerry.
 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) attends the opening session of the Syrian Donors Conference at Bayan Palace Liberation Hall at the Bayan Palace in Kuwait City, Jan. 15, 2014.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) attends the opening session of the Syrian Donors Conference at Bayan Palace Liberation Hall at the Bayan Palace in Kuwait City, Jan. 15, 2014.
x
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) attends the opening session of the Syrian Donors Conference at Bayan Palace Liberation Hall at the Bayan Palace in Kuwait City, Jan. 15, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) attends the opening session of the Syrian Donors Conference at Bayan Palace Liberation Hall at the Bayan Palace in Kuwait City, Jan. 15, 2014.
More than $177 million in new U.S. assistance for emergency medical care, shelter, and sanitation inside Syria includes counseling and protection programs for vulnerable groups such as women, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
 
However, it is the humanitarian funding for Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt that reflects Washington's broader concerns. Kerry said the strains on nations hosting Syrian refugees risks creating greater instability throughout the region.
 
U.S. Institute of Peace analyst Steve Heydemann said it is a breakdown challenging security in every direction.
 
“What originated in Syria as a result of the collapse of state authority is in fact producing the conditions for a broader cascade of state collapse in neighboring countries. And so what we're looking at is the possibility in which the entire state order in the Levant could be coming unglued in ways that could produce many, many years of instability,” said Heydemann, referring to the nations in the eastern Mediterranean region.

Syrian Refugees by Country

  • Lebanon: 868,970
  • Jordan: 582,166
  • Turkey: 571,513
  • Iraq: 212,918
  • Egypt: 132,383

Source: UNHCR
With Syrian peace talks planned to be held in Switzerland next week, Kerry said there must be a political solution to prevent the creation of more refugees. He told reporters on this trip, "There's a certain endlessness to this notion that we’re going to keep upping our contribution to more millions of people who have been displaced.”
 
Kerry also pointed out that Washington is not looking for a policy of simply increased assistance to refugees; the goal is a policy that saves Syria and allows refugees to return home and rebuild their lives.

  • Fighters from the Free Syrian Army's Saif al-Umayyad brigade prepare rockets to be launched towards forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Jan. 16, 2014.
  • Men ride a motorbike past buildings damaged by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Daraya, Jan. 15, 2014.
  • Smoke rises from buildings after what activists said was shelling from forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the besieged area of Homs, Jan. 15, 2014.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters walk at the Tameko pharmaceutical factory after the FSA claimed to have taken control of the factory, in eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus, Jan. 14, 2014.
  • A girl carries her belongings as she walks on rubble at a site hit by what activists said was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Arbeen, Jan. 14, 2014.
  • This SANA photo shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaking to female preachers from mosques in Damascus and its countryside and educators of religious high schools and institutes in Damascus, Jan. 14, 2014.
  • Syrian refugees wait to enter Turkey on the Syrian-Turkish border in Shamm Alqrain village, Jan. 13, 2014.
  • Smoke rises from what activists said were explosive barrels thrown from helicopters on Daria outside Damascus, Jan. 12, 2014.
  • Damaged buildings are pictured in the besieged area of Homs, Jan. 12, 2014.
  • Residents inspect the damage caused by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant suicide bombers at the Tawhid Brigade and Al-Fateh brigade headquarters in Aleppo, Jan. 12, 2014.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid