UN and EU make call for peace and funds at Syria conference
The UN and the EU called for peace in Syria at a donor conference in Brussels on Wednesday, attended by representatives of over 85 countries and NGOs. The EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned that a military victory for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad would not be enough.
"A military victory could come and it is true that we see some actors pursuing that kind of strategy. But what next? What happens the month after that? Two months after that? One year after that? Daesh could come back, the country would not be reconstructed, even for pragmatic reasons... Who would you give the money to? Is it realistic to think that any international institution would give the money to Assad?" said Mogherini.
The international community pledged 3.3bn euros in aid, but fell well short of the UN's 7.4bn-euro target despite the pleas of neighbouring countries and NGOs working on the ground:
David Beasley, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme, warned of the consequences of not acting:
"Our plans are to feed about four million (people) but we do not have enough funds at this stage to feed three million (people) inside Syria, a country that has 6,5 million people literally severely food insecure, meaning they don't know when they are going to get their next meal. If we don't receive the funds we need, then you are talking instability that can create chaos in an already chaotic region."
Euronews' Isabel Marques da Silva reports from Brussels:
"The European Union has played an important role in trying to mobilise humanitarian aid for Syria. But its political influence has not yet translated into bringing to the peace negotiations all the players involved, and the Syrian people keeps paying the heavy price of war."