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
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."

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Comment Sorting
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.

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