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

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.