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The 2nd Pledging Conference for Syria seeks to obtain international support

BEIRUT | iloubnan.info - January 15, 2014, 14h07
Par Laura Hamade
Displaced people in Tartous, western Syria, are among the millions who have received UNHCR assistance. Photo: UNHCR
Lebanese Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, arrived in Kuwait last night to attend what is now the second successful Pledging Conference for Syria. The global community has gathered in Kuwait City today to pledge its support for humanitarian efforts in Syria and bordering nations. It is chaired by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon and hosted by Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait.
As the rest of the world sympathizes with the people of Syria, UN agencies, along with the help of non-governmental organizations and representatives from Member States, have been doing everything in their power to meet accumulating humanitarian requests.

The second Pledging Conference for Syria seeks to obtain international financial support to meet the basic needs of these millions of Syrians. The Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) announced this morning that a $500 million Kuwaiti donation has been made by the Emir of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah. The Lebanese National News Agency also declared that the US donated $380 million while Qatar and Saudi Arabia each generously pledged $60 million. Over 9 million people in Syria are in desperate need of help.

Due to the ongoing political conflicts occurring in their place of residence, many are either stranded in difficult to reach areas, or have entirely abandoned the place they once called home. Since January 2012, over 2 million Syrians have fled their place of residence in search of refuge in neighboring countries, such as Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey.

The first Pledging Conference for Syria that took place in January 2013 witnessed 43 Member States pledge $1.5 billion towards humanitarian efforts. Some of the countries that pledged the most funding back in 2013 included Kuwait ($300 million), the United States ($155 million), the European Commission ($133 million), the United Kingdom ($81 million), Saudi Arabia ($78 million), Japan ($65 million), Norway ($38 million), Canada ($25 million), and Sweden ($23 million). Last year, Syrians were given water, food, health care and school supplies.

In addition, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) aided Syrian refugees by offering them shelter, warm clothes, and psychosocial support. However, the brutal temperatures and heavy rains of the snowstorm, Alexa proved that while efforts have been made to better the current situation, many are still suffering. “We hope that donors will continue to give generously,” said UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos during a recent Twitter Chat on the Syria crisis. This year’s conference aims to provide even greater assistance to those suffering from this crisis.
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