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

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    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.
    Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United Statesi
    X
    July 28, 2016 2:16 AM
    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora