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$ 6.4 billion pledged, far from target

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                International donors on Tuesday pledged $ 6.4 billion in aid for the Syrian people and their refugees, down sharply from the previous year and well below the $ 10 billion target set by the Syrian Arab Republic. 'UN.

                                    <p>Aid pledges total $ 4.4 billion for the year 2021, as well as $ 2 billion for 2022 and the following years, said European Commissioner Janez Lenarcic, at the end of this conference organized by the EU and the United Nations.  He did not immediately give an explanation of this decline.

The two-day event, held virtually because of a pandemic, brought together some 80 delegations, mobilized for the millions of displaced people and refugees.

Germany, through the voice of its foreign minister Heiko Maas, has pledged on its own to pay 1.74 billion euros, or one third of the total pledges announced, and the United States some 510 million euros. ‘euros.

« The Syrian tragedy is not to last another ten years. Ending it starts with giving back hope, and it starts with our commitments, here today », Underlined Heiko Maas.

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This fifth edition of the Brussels Conference for Syria also aims to support neighboring countries (Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt) which have hosted 80% of Syrian refugees who had to flee their country. Financial assistance should in particular facilitate access to education for refugee children.

“Torn Lives”

The UN called for donations of at least $ 10 billion for the current year, recalling that 24 million people need support in Syria and the region, 4 million more than last year .

The stated objective was to collect ” at least $ 4.2 billion for the humanitarian response inside Syria and an additional $ 5.8 billion to support refugees and host communities in the region “, Had specified the United Nations. With only $ 4.4 billion in pledges for 2021, we are very far from it.

The amount of the pledges ” confirms fears that donors will not heed the pleas of millions of Syrians who have fled their homes and whose lives have been torn apart by ten years of war », Alarmed the NGO Oxfam.

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« For ten years, Syrians have endured death, destruction, forced displacement and deprivation, and the situation is not improving, on the contrary “, Pleaded UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Also to listen: Syrian Revolution, hope despite everything

“Look into your hearts”

Heiko Maas recalled that since the start of the war in March 2011, half of the Syrian population had had to flee and that even today “ 90% of Syrians live in poverty “. In northwestern Syria, nearly three million people depend on humanitarian aid to survive, he said.

The previous edition of the donors’ conference for Syria, in June 2020, resulted in pledges of $ 5.5 billion for the year 2020 according to the UN.

The European Commission had reported total commitments of 7.7 billion – of which nearly 30% corresponded to pledges for 2021. The EU and its 27 member states claim to have contributed two-thirds of this total, and Germany, the continent’s largest economy, had already been the most generous donor.

The European bloc says it has mobilized some $ 29 billion (EUR 24.7 billion) to help the Syrian people since 2011.

Triggered in March 2011 by the repression of a popular revolt, the conflict in Syria has turned into a devastating war, which has left more than 387,000 dead, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH). The war also drove millions of people into exodus.

On Monday, before the UN Security Council in New York, the United States demanded the reopening of humanitarian access points at the Syrian borders, closed in 2020 under Russian pressure.

« How is it possible that we cannot find in our hearts the common humanity to actually take meaningful action? Look into your hearts “Implored the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken.

Words judged ” hypocrites “By Damascus:” The United States violates the United Nations Charter and international law by imposing unilateral sanctions, politicizing humanitarian issues, occupying territory (of other countries) ”, Replied Tuesday the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

(With AFP)


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