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: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Five-Nation Tour to Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of state will visit Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam to discuss security issues, Iran nuclear deal, Trans-Pacific Partnership 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs