News / Middle East

UN Launches $4.4 Billion Appeal to Help Syrians

Suleiman, 8, a Syrian boy who fled to Lebanon this morning with his family from the town of Qusair after it fell to Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah fighters, June 5, 2013.
Suleiman, 8, a Syrian boy who fled to Lebanon this morning with his family from the town of Qusair after it fell to Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah fighters, June 5, 2013.
Lisa Schlein
Estimating that 6.8 million Syrians are in need of urgent help, the United Nations on Friday launched a record $4.4 billion international aid appeal for operations in Syria and neighboring countries.

The U.N. reports its combined appeal tops the $5 billion mark when appeals by Jordan and Lebanon for $830 million are factored in.  It said it already has pledges of about $1.4 billion.

The funds would help care for those displaced inside Syria by the ongoing civil war, as well as Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, called for an urgent international response.

Watch related video by Henry Ridgwell:

UN Launches Appeal For Syriansi
X
June 08, 2013 3:20 AM
The United Nations has launched its biggest ever appeal for humanitarian aid to Syria. It comes as Syrian war violence threatens a U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

“There is already evidence of spillover of the conflict in Lebanon and in Iraq," he said.  "Jordan is in a very fragile economic situation, and if the fighting does not stop we risk to have an explosion in the Middle East for which the international community is simply not prepared.  In this context, we are seeing a staggering escalation of the refugee crisis.”

Refugee numbers rising

Guterres said there are 1.6 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries and that figure might climb to 3.5 million by the end of the year.  The U.N. estimates that the 6.8 million people living inside Syria, many of them displaced, also will need aid.

While noting that the combined $5.2 billion appeal is staggering, Guterres compared it to less charitable spending.

“It represents what the Americans spend on ice cream in 32 days," he said.  "It represents what the Australians spend in their overseas travel in 10 weeks.  It represents what German drivers spend in petrol in six weeks.”

U.N. Under Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, said the death toll in the Syrian war now exceeds 80,000.  She is calling for more international help for survivors.

“The Syrian people that we have spoken to in Syria, in Lebanon, in Jordan, in Turkey through all our visits have asked us time and time again why has the international community abandoned us,” she said.

The U.N. said its appeal is aimed not only at governments, but also at businesses and individuals.  The European Union on Thursday announced it would contribute $530 million in humanitarian aid this year, the largest amount pledged by any governing authority.

Lebanese warning  

Meanwhile, the Lebanese army warned residents on Friday about getting embroiled in spillover fighting from Syria's civil war.

The warning came as fierce clashes in the northern city of Tripoli between supporters and opponents of President Bashar Assad eased on Friday. Deadly clashes between Damascus supporters and opponents inside Lebanon have been on the rise recently.

A military statement said the Lebanese Army urges citizens to be wary of "plots" aimed at taking Lebanon backwards and "dragging it into a futile war."

You May Like

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
June 09, 2013 2:58 AM
In my opinion all the MAJOR players in this dirty game of the century must contribute at least 90%. When they can help Al Qaida and it Children to destroy all society then this is their social responsibility to contribute in this cause. We have seen after effects in LIBYA.How much common Libyans is suffering now for the BASIC needs of life, no body can imagine. We think this is not the responsibility of world terrorist to think about these problems before they start any game.Now whole syrian people's are suffering for basic needs of life and world famous terrorist are holding conference IN AC HALL. Because they cannot bear high temperature.

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
June 08, 2013 2:54 PM
How much money is contributed by Russia and China to rehabilitate the Syrian refugees and the internally displaced persons (IDP)? It is cheaper to eliminate Assad by military action than spend billions of dollars for the maintenance of millions of refugees and IDPs indefinitely, slowly bleeding Syria, Syrian civilians and the donor nations. Russia and China enjoy the predicament of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, US and the European Union while selling military supplies to Assad. Military action by a Coalition of the Willing is the only solution to end the humanitarian disaster in Syria. The UN and any kind of negotiations just prolong the agony of the people of Syria without any constructive results.
In Response

by: Anonymous
June 09, 2013 3:09 AM
Nobody should be held responsible for paying for this mess except Bashar al Assad. He owes Turkey for the burden along with other countries. He must pay the price through the nose. Disable his terror campaign, and help the people of Syria.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs