The ongoing crisis in Syria dominated the talks on Monday (May 13) between U.S. President Barack Obama and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.
The latter was visiting Washington to update Obama on the agenda for next month’s G-8 summit. The U.K. holds the rotating G-8 presidency this year and is set to host the group’s high-level meeting next month.
In a joint news conference, Obama said the two countries will “continue our efforts to increase pressure on the Assad regime, to provide humanitarian aid to the long-suffering Syrian people, to strengthen the moderate opposition, and to prepare for a democratic Syria without Bashar Assad.”
To boost the response to the crisis, Cameron pledged an additional 30 million pounds ($46 million) in humanitarian aid. The new funding is expected to provide 224,000 people with access to necessary healthcare services and 172,000 people with access to food, as well as vouchers to 100,000 people for essential items such as food, clothing, clean water and sanitation facilities.
Obama said the G-8 summit presents “another opportunity to make progress on nutrition and food security.” In the past, G-8 leaders drew criticisms for the lack of progress on their food security initiatives.
He also noted that both countries “are encouraged by the ambitious reforms” being implemented at the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, “where both our nations are stepping up efforts.” Later this year, the financing organization will host a replenishment conference where it will seek $15 billion for the 2014-2016 period.
Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.