News / Middle East

UN Appeals for More Aid, Halt to Syria Fighting

A Free Syrian Army fighter drags his comrade who was shot by sniper fire [and died soon after] during heavy fighting in the Ain Tarma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, January 30, 2013.
A Free Syrian Army fighter drags his comrade who was shot by sniper fire [and died soon after] during heavy fighting in the Ain Tarma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, January 30, 2013.
Edward Yeranian
Foreign donors pledged more than $1.5 billion Wednesday to help the United Nations conduct relief operations for Syrian refugees.

Among the leading donors, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia each pledged $300 million to help fund U.N. humanitarian operations for Syrians.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the United States will contribute $155 million, while Bahrain pledged $25 million and Germany $13 million.



In closing remarks to the donor's meeting in Kuwait on Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called it the largest response ever to a humanitarian pledging conference.

Ban urged the warring sides in Syria to halt their fighting, calling the situation in the country "catastrophic." He warned that in the meantime the exodus of Syrian refugees to neighboring states is likely to intensify.

Major refugee crisis

Arab leaders, Western diplomats and U.N. officials listened intently as conference participants detailed the financial needs to cope with the growing Syrian refugee crisis.

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Sabah, who organized the conference, highlighted the human tragedy of the Syrian conflict and the international community's inability to cope with it.

Sabah said Arab states have been calling on the U.N. Security Council to find a solution to the Syrian crisis since it began almost two years ago. He urged council nations to overcome differences, saying history will judge the U.N. severely for its role in the tragedy.

Jordan's King Abdullah, whose country is sheltering more than 300,000 Syrian refugees, said Amman's resources have been stretched to the limit.

The Jordanian leader said it is imperative to set up the refugee aid fund to deal with the exceptional circumstances facing many Arab states because of the Syria conflict, and to offer support and resources to countries that have welcomed Syrian refugees.

Jordan, he said, has taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees and the cost has exhausted its resources.

It is estimated that more than 2 million Syrians have been displaced by the violence. The U.N. has registered 700,000 Syrian refugees, mostly in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

But U.N. officials say these numbers underestimate the extent of the exodus. Neighboring countries report the presence of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who have not come forward to be registered.

  • A girl waves the revolutionary Syrian flag during a protest against President Bashar al-Assad in front of the Syrian embassy to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the 1982 Hama massacre, in Amman, Jordan, February 1, 2013.
  • Dutch student Wijbe Abma, 21, right, has raised more than $17,000 to buy warm blankets for the Syrian refugees, delivering the aid through local activists and rebel groups.
  • Anti-Syrian regime protesters flash the victory sign as they hold a banner during a demonstration, at Kafr Nabil town, in Idlib province, northern Syria, February 1, 2013.
  • Syrian citizens pray over the bodies of those who were found dead next to a river last Tuesday and who were not identified by their relatives, in Aleppo, Syria on January 31, 2013.
  • The bodies of dozens of men, many of them with their hands bound behind their backs, were found on the muddy banks of a small river January 29, 2013 in the northern city of Aleppo.
  • Relatives and Free Syrian Army fighters bury the body of Ammar Al-Achaqer, who activists said was killed by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, near Homs, Syria, January 29, 2013. (Shaam News Network)
  • An internally displaced boy looks out of a school at a village outside Damascus, January 28, 2013.
  • This image taken from video shows a Free Syrian Army fighter speaking in front of a government intelligence complex in Deir el-Zour, Syria, January 29, 2013. (Ugarit News)
  • A Free Syrian Army soldier flashes the victory sign as damage caused by warplanes and rocket launchers is seen at background in Hama, Syria, January 28, 2013. Image taken from video.
  • Syrian refugees search for their belongings at a burned tent at the Al Zaatari Syrian refugee camp, January 28, 2013.

You May Like

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael from: USA
January 30, 2013 10:07 AM
Those photo's are terrible. God be with them at this time. Syria needs to get back online with the international community of nations because they have alot to offer to global markets and in other important ways too

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
January 30, 2013 9:40 AM
Condemnations and sanctions are just useless; the civilian population, that is in the crossfires needs immediate humanitarian help. The UNSC needs to approve a UN mandated force to push through humanitarian corridors, and the establishment of humanitarian supplies' distribution centres to help the trapped civilians.

by: Sonya from: Denmark.dk
January 30, 2013 8:19 AM
and replace Assad with what...??? a Taliban style Muslim Brotherhood...??? really, is that what we need more of...??? are they calling for the West to facilitate a regime that is committed to killing Christians and Jews (and other Muslimes) enslave women, butcher homosexuals, condemn education... is that what we are being asked to support...??? revolting!!!

by: Anonymous
January 30, 2013 6:27 AM
Bashar al Assad is not just costing the Syrians their lives, he is now costing the world money. It's time the world goes in and gets him the hell out of there. Why should we not be stopping him, to protect the Syrian people, and our governments are having to spend money now? This problem is just going to cost more more money the longer it continues. Most importantly is the lives it will cost if this continues. Bashar must go.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs