United Nations comes up short for Syria 2018 refugee funds

Glen Norman
April 26, 2018

The conference pledged $4.4 billion for Syrian refugees, said Christos Stylianides, the European commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management.

He also said there had been no follow-up to an agreement at a large peace conference, hosted in the Black Sea resort of Sochi by Vladimir Putin, to set up a constitutional commission on the future of Syria. The previous Brussels conference saw the State of Qatar pledge $100m, and fulfilled that pledge and even increased it to $108m, while its contribution to the London 2016 conference amounted to $101.241m.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, said that the worldwide community began to move after the recent chemical attack, which was one of many on the Syrian people, adding that pain was visible on the faces of children and women.

"We've made a good start", said Lowcock, adding that the United Nations would have wished to raise more funds.

Guterres said he will continue to engage with Member States to move towards a genuine and credible political solution that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people to dignity and freedom.

"The bitter truth is that despite all our combined efforts conditions have deteriorated".

The participants of the worldwide donors' conference in Syria collected a total of $4.4 bln, said Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, after the conference. The geographical advances of the regime show just how much Assad has gained in the north, and that is changing the game.

The two organizations had hoped pledges would match last year's levels of 5.6 billion euros (6.8 billion USA dollars) in aid for 2017 and 3.47 billion euros for 2018-2020.

The EU, along with many other major donors, refuses to fund serious reconstruction, rather than emergency aid, in Syria until there is a meaningful peace process in Geneva.

In addition to the lack of funds, the United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, expressed concern that prolonged chaos would create a chance for Islamic State militants to make a comeback.

"There would be a direct interest in Moscow as well as Tehran and I limit myself to those two capitals to identifying ways to contribute positively to a political solution", Federica Mogherini, EU Foreign Affairs Chief said.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has called on Russia, Iran, and Turkey to do more to scale down the fighting in Syria. "And we are here for the people, all the people of Syria".

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