Syrians receive more aid pledges

An emotional Syrian woman at a refugee camp in southern Turkey. Donors announce more aid for Syrians, who continue to suffer from the 18-month old conflict in their country. Photo by: A. Branthwaite / UNHCR

Donors announced new aid for Syrians in and outside the strife-torn country, who continue to suffer from the 18-month-old conflict in the Arab nation.

The United States will be giving close to $30 million in humanitarian aid, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a Friends of Syria meeting on the sidelines of the 67th U.N. General Assembly Friday (Sept. 28). This will be used to provide medical care, education to internally displaced children, clean water, sanitation and other basic necessities that will help warm people come winter season.

The funds will be channeled to nongovernmental organizations and four U.N. agencies: the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Health Organization and UNICEF, according to a press release.

France reportedly announced a new aid package for Syrians at the meeting as well, but it is not clear how much aid was pledged and for what purpose.

Canada, meanwhile, unveiled the new recipients of the $2 million medical aid for Syrians that Minister for Foreign Affairs John Baird deferred in August. The money, initially intended for NGO Canadian Relief Syria, will now be channeled to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Irish Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello also announced a shipment of tents and blankets for Syrian refugees in Jordan Sunday (Sept. 30). The aid is in response to Jordan’s appeal for supplies during Costello’s visit in the Za’atari refugee camp in August.

The pledges follow statements from world leaders at the U.N. general debate last week. Many expressed their condemnation and frustration over the 18-month-old conflict, which has yet to meet a strong, unified U.N. resolution at the Security Council.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who addressed the assembly Friday, reiterated the adoption of a resolution based on the Geneva communique, which calls for a cease-fire from both the Syrian government and the opposition. He said this is the “shortest way to stop the loss of human life in Syria.”

Russia has vetoed three U.N. resolutions on Syria to date.

The conflict has brought devastation to people living in Syria and has burdened neighboring countries. The Syria Humanitarian Response Plan and the Regional Response Plan for Syrian refugees have both been revised last month for U.N. agencies and NGOs to meet the rising humanitarian needs of those displaced by the crisis. The regional response plan saw its second revision Thursday (Sept. 27).

The U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund disbursed close to $6 million in humanitarian funding to four aid agencies working in Syria Sept. 20. UNRWA and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization each received $2 million. UNHCR, meanwhile, received nearly $1 million, and $957,575 went to the International Organization for Migration.

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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.