Aid response for Syria 'very limited': Ban

2013-01-30 12:05

Kuwait - The United Nations is receiving only limited support for its aid to millions of Syrians, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in published remarks, adding its humanitarian work needed "generous" help from a donor pledging conference on Wednesday.

The gathering in the Gulf Arab state of Kuwait will seek $1bn of aid for Syria's neighbours sheltering 700 000 registered refugees, and another $500m to bankroll humanitarian work for 4 million Syrians inside their country.

So far, the United Nations has received pledges covering just 18% of the target, unveiled last month as the scale of Syria's humanitarian crisis escalated sharply, and which aims to fund operations for the first half of this year.

Ban was quoted by the official Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) as saying what while the need for humanitarian aid was rising "the level of response the UN is receiving is very much limited".

"That is why I am appealing to the whole international community to render their generous support."

Around 4 million Syrians inside the country need food, shelter and other aid and more than 700 000 more have escaped to neighbouring countries since the 22-month-old conflict began, according to the UN.

Promises of major donations

Kuna reported Ban as saying that on a visit to refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey six weeks ago he heard stories of refugees who had fled Syria "and particularly stories from children, who were very much concerned about their own future".

"That really saddened and humbled me."

Robert Watkins, UN humanitarian co-ordinator in Lebanon, which has seen the biggest influx of refugees from the Syrian bloodshed, said the United Nations had received promises of major donations at the Kuwait conference.

"We have every reason to be optimistic that there will a very good presence and new pledges that will be coming up at this conference," he said.

US President Barack Obama announced an additional $155m, bringing the total US humanitarian aid to the Syrian crisis to around $365m, the State Department said.

Watkins said the fact that the conference was being held in Kuwait could encourage other wealthy Gulf Arab states, who have led regional opposition to President Bashar Assad, to support the international aid effort.

In New York, UN-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi warned the UN Security Council on Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar Assad may be able to cling to power for now but the country is "breaking up before everyone's eyes", diplomats said.

Brahimi suggested that attempts to end the 22-month-old conflict, which has claimed more than 60 000 lives according to UN figures, had not progressed in the last two months. He said it was up to the Security Council to end its impasse.

  • kennedy.mataruse - 2013-01-30 15:16

    their religion clearly say if u want peace,prepare for what do you think they gonna do?Its WAR.once a world power hostoricly but now eish rubbles only.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-30 19:04

    . A nation left to fend for itself. The West let the Syrian population down soo badly, in their hour of need, to fight back, a murderous dictator, with ONLY holding a few , rather useless 'friends of Syria meetings' in various capitals of the world. Russia is still busy shipping tons of military hardware to Syria, says, it HAS to fulfill, an ( endless )contract!!!!! The world at large has forgotten about the Syrian people, and allows a butcher to KILL his OPPOSITION, by ONE HNDRED A DAY, FOR TWO YEARS!!! 60000 KILLED, 600000 REFUGEES, MILLIONS DISPLACED !!! And the world could not give a damn!!!!!!! BEYOND BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • fidel.uncensored - 2013-01-31 00:53

    These so called "Friends of Syria" should stop sending bullets to that country and send food instead! People do not eat ballot papers!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-31 03:57

      . This story of the West sending arms to the OPPOSITION, is now so tired, Just about all weapons in Syria are Russain made. Why do you think there are soo many 'home made ' weapons in Syria ?? You think it is a national HOBBY ??

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