UN raises $7.7 bln for Syrians beset by war, food shortages and coronavirus
The United Nations raised $7.7 billion in humanitarian aid on Tuesday for Syria, where nine years of war have displaced millions in a humanitarian crisis exacerbated by soaring food prices and the coronavirus crisis.
While less than the almost $10 billion sought by UN agencies, the pledges were higher than expected, given the economic shock of COVID-19 on many governments and shortfalls in other aid appeals, notably for Yemen this month.
“We recognize that the circumstances are very unusual, it is a difficult moment in every country to find the resources necessary to relieve the suffering of the Syrian people,” UN aid chief Mark Lowcock said after the virtual donor conference by some 60 governments and non-official agencies.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
Pledges came from countries including Germany, which offered 1.58 billion euros ($1.78 billion) in what Berlin said was the single biggest country donation.
We raised $5.5 billion for 2020 and an additional $2.2 billion for 2021 in today's #SyriaConf2020. Thank you! https://t.co/bJv8n5RZ8E pic.twitter.com/TaG1pckHi0— Mark Lowcock (@UNReliefChief) June 30, 2020
The United Nations, which last year raised $7 billion, said this year it needs $3.8 billion for aid inside Syria where 11 million people require help and protection, with more than 9.3 million of them lacking adequate food.
US announces $696 mln in additional humanitarian aid for Syria at Brussels meet
Saudi Arabia believes only solution for Syria is political: Foreign minister
Another $6.04 billion is sought to help the 6.6 million Syrians who have fled, in what is the world’s biggest refugee crisis.
UN officials will still press for more pledges throughout the year, and have time as the money is split between 2020 and 2021.
🔴 LIVE NOW: the press remarks from the #SyriaConf2020 with the HR/VP @josepborrellf https://t.co/gIeexkFIjd— European External Action Service - EEAS 🇪🇺 (@eu_eeas) June 30, 2020
Adding to Syrians’ hardship, an economic slump and COVID-19 lockdown have pushed food prices more than 200 percent higher in less than a year, according to the World Food Program (WFP).
According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, there have only been 269 confirmed coronavirus cases, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the real situation is probably far worse and the number of infections likely to accelerate.
Rebuilding destroyed cities will take billions of dollars more and cannot start until powers involved back a peaceful transition away from the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, EU governments say.
“We finally need a political solution to the conflict,” said German Development Minister Gerd Muller.
Lebanese PM Diab calls for protection for Lebanon from Caesar Act sanctions on SyriaLebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab used the platform of an international donor conference on the Syrian crisis in Brussels Tuesday to appeal for ... Middle East
Russia's Putin, Turkey's Erdogan and Iran's Rouhani to discuss Syria: KremlinRussian President Vladimir Putin, Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan and Iran's Hassan Rouhani will hold a video conference on Wednesday to discuss the conflict ... World News
Syria donors demand political transition before reconstruction beginsThe foreign ministers of western and regional donor countries voiced their rejection to contribute to reconstructing Syria before launching the ... Middle East