Hundreds gather to raise billions
- UN asks for more than 8 bn euros
- Education and employment are top priorities
- UK, Germany and Norway pledge money
World leaders have gathered in London for a major conference aimed at raising money for Syria.
— Melissa Fleming (@melissarfleming) February 4, 2016
Sixty countries are represented at the conference, including 30 world leaders.
An urgent plea has gone out for more than eight billion euros to help refugees from the war-torn country.
SupportSyrians</a> aims to create job opportunities for refugees and host communities <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/supportSyrians?src=hash">#supportSyrians</a> <a href="https://t.co/srlAHE70Uu">pic.twitter.com/srlAHE70Uu</a></p>— Foreign Office (FCO) (foreignoffice) February 4, 2016
The conference will focus particularly on the need to provide an education for displaced Syrian children and job opportunities for adults.
This reflects growing recognition that the fall-out from the Syrian conflict will be long term.
Syrian refugee Mazoun Almellehan introduced by Malala Yousafzai – speaking on behalf of displaced Syrian children on importance of education
— Supporting Syria (@SupportSyrians) February 4, 2016
Young Syrian refugee Mazoun Almellehan told those assembled that youth education must be a priority.
“One day, when I am a journalist, there is a story I want to write. I want to write the story of how all Syrian children want to come home to lift up their country. I hope that story begins today with you.”
The European angle
Britain, Germany and Norway have already pledged more than four billion euros.
For European nations, improving the humanitarian situation in Syria and neighbouring countries is seen as critical to reducing incentives for Syrians to travel to the continent.
A huge refugee crisis has put many countries under severe strain.
Syria in numbers
- 250,000 – people killed
- 6 million – internally displaced
- 4 million – externally displaced in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and beyond
- 7.73 billion – US dollars needed this year
- 5 billion + – US dollars needed by UN
- 1.2 billion – needed by host governments
Who has pledged what
— United Nations (@UN) February 4, 2016
Aid agencies are appealing for more than seven billion euros (eight billion US dollars) to cope with the humanitarian situation caused by the conflict in Syria.
Britain and Norway have pledged an additional two billion euros (2.9 billion US Dollars) in aid for Syrians by 2020
Germany has pledged to give 2.3 billion euros in aid to Syria by 2018. Chancellor Angela Merkel says 1.1 billion will be given this year alone.
What they are saying
“We can provide the sense of hope needed to stop people thinking they have no option but to risk their lives on a dangerous journey to Europe.” – British Prime Minister David Cameron
“If we fail to take decisive action now, the situation for civilians and Syria’s neighbouring countries will only get worse. This will affect the whole of the international community.” – Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg