Saturday, 25 November 2017

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#SupportSyrians - Syria donor conference kicks off in London

Jordi Matas UNHCR SYRIA

4.2.2016 - World leaders will gather today for a donor conference in London in an attempt to raise £6.2bn ($9bn; €8.3bn) for the humanitarian needs in Syria.

The conference is hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, Amir of Kuwait, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Some 70 leaders are expected to attend the event, the fourth of its kind, along with leaders of key NGOs. 

One of the fundamental aims is to raise funds for education and jobs for Syrian refugees. The morning session began with a discussion on education and how to keep Syrian children in schools.

Kuwait and Norway have so far pledged the most money towards helping those affected by the Syrian conflict and aim to garner increased international support and persuade their global partners to increase their contribution.

Peace Talks Stumble 

Hours before the conference was due to begin, peace talks between the Syrian regime and opposition were suspended.

The United Nations-brokered talks in Geneva, which opened just two days ago, were expected to resume on 25 February.

Staffan de Mistura, the UN's special envoy at the talks, admitted there had been a lack of progress but said that the negotiations had not failed, and dismissed the idea of holding talks just for the sake of holding talks.

“The UN cannot allow simple procedural matters to actually become more important than actually the results of humanitarian situation of the Syrian people who have been waiting for us to deliver this time, not a conference, but something concrete for them,” he said.

The United Nations has called for increased protection for civilians as, for the first time since the start of the crisis, the majority of those crossing from Greece into the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia at Gevgelija, nearly 60 per cent have been children and women.

“It is deeply disturbing that the initial steps of the talks have been undermined by the continuous lack of sufficient humanitarian access, and by a sudden increase of aerial bombings and military activities within Syria”, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated in his opening speech for the conference.

Child protection systems across Europe are completely overwhelmed as the rate of young children in the flood of refugees and migrants has soared to one in three compared with one in 10 less than a year ago.

The UK will invest at least an extra £1.2bn in international aid to support Syria and the region, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced today.

Support the event on social media with @SupportSyria and #SupportSyria

Listen to the event live.

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UNRIC Related Links

· Supporting Syria Live Stream

· Conference Website 

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