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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid