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Kuwait pledges half billion in Syria aid, UN still short of target

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Kuwait pledges half billion in Syria aid, UN still short of target


Syrian refugees seem set for a boost in aid as countries have pledged more money to the United Nations to ease the humanitarian crisis.

On Wednesday Kuwait promised $500 million to a fund aimed at helping what is reckoned to be around nine million people affected by the three years of civil war.

Kuwait’s pledge came at an international donor conference intended to help the UN reach an aid target of $6.5 billion. The appeal which was launched last month is the largest in the history of the world body.

But only 70 percent of the funding which is needed has been received.

“We have estimated that we will need $6.5 billion to help Syrians, Syrians who are internally displaced inside the country and Syrians who have been forced to flee outside the country,” UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told the conference in Kuwait.

Delivering aid remains a problem. In the latest incident shooting forced the UN to abort taking food and polio vaccines to a besieged area of Damascus. A spokesman claimed the Syrian government said the convoy should use a circuitous and dangerous route. No one was wounded in the shooting.

Rights groups have accused the Syrian government of deliberately withholding aid from some districts. Rebel activists who are surrounding two northern towns are also accused of hampering aid deliveries.

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