Coming in January: A pledging conference for Syrians

By Jenny Lei Ravelo 02 January 2013

A Syrian mother and her son await distribution of nonfood items at a UNHCR facility in Al Nabek, Syria. Photo by: B. Diab / UNHCR

Humanitarian aid continues to trickle in ahead of a just-announced pledging conference for Syrians affected by ongoing conflict in the West Asian country.

The United Nations conference will be hosted Jan. 30 by Kuwait, which donated $100,000 to Armenian authorities Dec. 25. The money will be used to provide food, clothing and medicine to some 200 Syrian families in the next three to four months, according to Kuwait News Agency. More than 8,000 Syrians are currently taking refuge in Armenia.

Germany and the United Kingdom have also pledged new aid for Syrians.

German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dirk Niebel announced €14.73 million ($19.4 million) for the revised Syrian Regional Response Plan during his visit to the Bourj Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon, on Dec. 22. The money will be for the use of several U.N. agencies, such as UNICEF, the U.N. Population Fund and the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom allotted 9 million pounds ($14.6 million) of its 15 million pounds announced Dec. 21 to the international humanitarian response to help Syrians. Some of the remaining funds will be used to provide armored vehicles to aid agencies facing insecurity inside Syria.

These pledges, however, still come short of the United Nations’ $1.5 billion appeal for Syrians. The original appeal of $487 million remains underfunded  only $379 million has been received according to data from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a Dec. 28 statement, called on donors to be generous at the upcoming conference.

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About the author

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Jenny Lei Ravelo@JennyLeiRavelo

Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex senior reporter based in Manila. Since 2011, she has covered a wide range of development and humanitarian aid issues, from leadership and policy changes at DfID to the logistical and security impediments faced by international and local aid responders in disaster-prone and conflict-affected countries in Africa and Asia. Her interests include global health and the analysis of aid challenges and trends in sub-Saharan Africa.

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