Donors Pledge $4.4 Billion in Aid for Syria, Neighboring Countries
27 April, 2018, 00:50 | Author: Gregory Stephens
Since representatives of over 70 countries, global organizations and Syrian civil society gathered in Brussels in April 2017 to coordinate the humanitarian response to Syria, the political narrative around the refugee crisis has grown increasingly somber.
"I expect that by the end of the day we will have heard pledges for 2018 of $4.4bn", he said.
"The European Union, as a whole, has pledged nearly $6 billion until 2019", Stylianides said, adding that the previously promised $3 billion for Syrian refugees in Turkey would be mobilized by the EU during the coming two years. The first 3 billion euros in aid for refugees was allocated by the European Union in 2016-2017.
But several major donors including the United States have not yet confirmed their pledges, Lowcock said, because of ongoing internal budget wrangling.
Some of the money has been raised already but Mark Lowcock, the head of United Nations aid agency UNOCHA told AFP he hoped to see $8 billion pledged on Wednesday, warning that some programmes may need to be cut if funds are not forthcoming.
Aid groups and the governments of countries neighbouring Syria and in Europe were dismayed that the United States failed to pledge any money this week - although there is the possibility that later donations could be announced.
He said influx of a large numbers of Syrian refugees to neighbouring countries has created huge economic and social burden on host countries.
In line with the coalition agreement, the government has earmarked over €400 million over the next four years for humanitarian aid and to improve prospects for refugees and host communities in the region.
"History has shown us that what that can lead to is permanent guerilla movements, instability, the inability for reconstruction and above all the risk that Daesh will take advantage to return", he said. Russian Federation and Iran, supporters of the Assad government, did participate but neither the Syrian government or opposition was represented.
In a video message to the forum, UN Secretary General António Guterres stressed that the conflict has caused horrendous suffering across an entire region, while at the same time Syria has become "a greenhouse for global instability" and "one of the most serious threats to worldwide peace and security".
"Every single cent we pledged today needs to be swiftly translated into action, spent in an effective and transparent way, this is our common responsibility", said Christos Stylianides, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, announcing the figures.
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