Amid continuing violence and the approach of the winter season, Syria is to receive additional humanitarian aid from the United Kingdom.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announced $12 million in new funding for UNICEF and other U.N. agencies involved in the Syrian crisis response during his speech on the second day of the general debate at the 67th U.N. General Assembly in New York.
Some 3 million pounds ($5 million) will go toward UNICEF water, sanitation and education projects for about 500,000 Syrian refugees, according to the Department for International Development. Meanwhile, up to 5 million pounds will be channeled through the central response plan managed by the United Nations. The money will be used to distribute blankets, heaters, emergency shelters and cookers to help up to 1.2 million internally displaced Syrians prepare for the upcoming winter season.
This new aid package brings the United Kingdom’s contribution to the Syrian response to 38.5 million pounds.
Renewed calls to action
Cameron’s announcement came with a challenge to other donors to step up their response to the Syrian crisis. Further, the prime minister urged other donors and international partners “to do more.”
Herman van Rompuy, president of the European Council, also touched on the situation in Syria in his address to the U.N. General Assembly. His frank message: “So far, we have not been able to stop the brutal violence.”
Providing humanitarian aid and continuous diplomatic work, van Rompuy noted, is important but not enough. The international community will remain powerless unless it “unites in a common determination to end this senseless violence, which threatens to wreak havoc in the whole region,” he stressed.
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