Donors pledge $23M humanitarian aid for Syria

Syrian refugees at the Syria-Lebanon border receive relief goods from the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation. Photo by: Mustafa Öztürk / IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation / CC BY-NC-ND

Kofi Annan will be briefing the U.N. Security Council on Monday (April 2) on the progress — or lack thereof — of his six-point peace plan, which the Syrian government accepted last week.

Several donor countries pledged additional humanitarian aid for Syrians affected by the yearlong uprising in the country at the second “Friends of Syria” meeting in Turkey on Sunday (April 1). The United States announced new funding worth $12.2 million, bringing its total assistance close to $25 million. The money will be channeled through nongovernmental organizations.

Germany has also announced additional funding amounting to €2.5 million ($3.3 million). And Canada, which also participated at the meeting, said it will provide 7.5 Canadian dollars ($7.5 million) to help meet the “most pressing humanitarian needs.”

But all of these pledges will have to find ways to get into Syria. Syrian President Bashar Assad has not yet made good of his commitment to end the fighting and allow a daily, two-hour humanitarian cease-fire. This inaction has led the international community to urge the U.N.-Arab league special envoy to set up a timetable for his next steps in the event Assad reneges on his word.

Apart from humanitarian aid, the “Friends of Syria” group has agreed to form a working group that will coordinate sanctions imposed on Assad and his government. The group has also agreed to put up an “accountability” program that will train Syrians to document government atrocities. This will come handy in the future when and if Assad and other officials face trial, The Washington Post reports.

And despite the international community’s reluctance to arm the opposition, Arab countries have pledged $100 million to pay opposition fighters in the country. The United States, meanwhile, has agreed to send communications equipment to the rebels.

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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.