The United Nations has secured close to $7 billion in aid pledges for Syria to help civilians impacted by fighting in the eight years of civil war. The additional aid was announced Thursday in Brussels. U.N. officials said the money would help save millions of lives and protect civilians across Syria. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports officials called for free access for the humanitarian aid and called on each side to find a political solution to end the devastating conflict.
The human rights situation in China has seen no improvement in recent years, according to a new report presented on Wednesday. The U.S. Department of State also condemns Saudi Arabia in its annual report on human rights abuses around the world. The U.S. ally is cited for last year's killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports Venezuela is also noted for its abysmal human rights record.