Aid pledges to Syria exceed UN appeal

Syrians arrive at a refugee camp in Jordan. Photo by: Brian Sokol / UNHCR

Aid pledges exceeded the United Nations’ $1.5 billion humanitarian appeal for Syrians at Wednesday’s donor conference in Kuwait. The next question is when those pledges will translate to real aid.

Three Gulf states pledged $300 million each. A coalition of nongovernmental organizations also promised some $183 million. Here’s a breakdown of some of the money that donors have pledged to provide to Syria, including announcements made prior to the event:

The United Nations has yet to provide a breakdown of all pledges, but a number of U.N. officials have expressed satisfaction over the conference’s outcome. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the pledges brought “a message of hope” to Syrians that continue to be affected by the ongoing violence. U.N. refugee chief António Guterres, meanwhile, said the pledges were “unprecedented” and would allow his agency to “do much more.”

Limited funding is among the constraints aid groups face in Syria and neighboring countries hosting Syrian refugees.

“Money has been pledged, but that is just the start. We now have to do all we can to turn that into action on the ground,” U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said in a statement. Her words were seconded by Oxfam International’s Nigel Timmins, who said, “there should be no delay.” Timmins also said donors should “prepare for the long-haul.” The U.N. appeal covers needs only until June.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.