The United Nations managed to raise close to $7 billion in aid pledges for Syria on Thursday, despite growing fatigue from donors after eight years of civil war and varying opinions on how to deal with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
The U.N. is seeking a total $3.3 billion in humanitarian for those inside Syria, as well as a further $5.5 billion for refugees located across the region this year. In a video appeal message to those attending the conference in Brussels, the third of its kind on the Syrian crisis, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on attendees to renew their “financial, humanitarian and political commitments to the Syrian people, and to the countries and communities hosting refugees”.
According to U.N. emergency relief chief and head of OCHA, Mark Lowcock, the conference is likely to raise “possibly close to $7 billion,” surpassing last year’s disappointing total of $4.4 billion.
Lowcock said he was “pleased with this important signal of the international community’s solidarity with the people in Syria and with Syria’s neighbors who are hosting huge numbers of refugees and feeling the strain of their generosity.”
A single stark message from Syrians is left ringing in our ears: they want to live in safety.Yet attacks continue on civilians.My remarks at #SyriaConf2019 https://t.co/f2TVcaUWIH#InvestInHumanity#NotATargetPic @UNICEF pic.twitter.com/JNvHXPd8sh
— Mark Lowcock (@UNReliefChief) March 14, 2019