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

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid