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UN hopes Syria conference will raise $10bn

A drone photo shows an aerial view of the Kefernahum refugee camp, where Syrian refugees live, at the beginning of the winter season in northeastern Idlib, Syria on November 02, 2019 [Izzeddin Idilbi - Anadolu Agency]
A drone photo shows an aerial view of the Kefernahum refugee camp, where Syrian refugees live, at the beginning of the winter season in northeastern Idlib, Syria on November 02, 2019 [Izzeddin Idilbi - Anadolu Agency]

The United Nations yesterday urged international donors to double their financial pledges to support Syrian refugees and countries which shelter them in the region in an effort to reach $10 billion.

In a joint statement, heads of the humanitarian, development and refugee agencies of the United Nations called for solidarity with countries hosting record numbers of Syrian refugees, and searching for durable solutions to end the suffering of the Syrian people.

Issued ahead on the eve of the IV Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region which is being held today, the statement quoted Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator as saying: “The conflict in Syria has lasted for almost ten years, and an entire generation of children has seen nothing but hardships, destruction, and deprivation.”

“The economy is collapsing, millions of citizens are still displaced, and more people are going hungry. (…) The world must do something about it tomorrow.”

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He added: “Nearly a decade after hosting some of the world’s most vulnerable people, host governments are striving to maintain services for refugees (more than 5.5 million refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt).”

In the same context, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said: “The coronavirus crisis has had an immediate and devastating impact on the lives of millions of Syrian refugees and their hosts in the region. (…) Strong support and responsibility-sharing from the international community is urgently needed.”

The United Nations and its partners in Syria have delivered assistance to an average of 6.2 million people each month, including life-saving food for 4.5 million people across all 14 governorates.

During last year’s conference in Brussels, the international community confirmed a total of $7 billion in funding to support humanitarian and development activities in 2019. All pledges have been paid in full, and donors contributed additional funds during 2019.

READ: UN says Syria’s hunger crisis worsens, COVID outbreak could intensify

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