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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid