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NGOs pledge aid to Syria

Raish, David
January 14, 2014

NGOs have pledged $400 million (292 million euros) in aid to assist in the humanitarian crisis stemming from Syria's ongoing civil war. The promise came at a conference of charitable organizations being held in Kuwait.

Kurdish Syrian refugees in Kurdistan-Iraq
Image: DW/M. Isso

Kuwait's International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) said on Tuesday at a meeting of NGOs that Kuwaiti charities will pledge $142 million in aid. Dozens of other NGOs attending the conference have vowed to provide the rest of the $400 million.

The funds are to go towards aiding people both inside and outside of Syria, the IICO said in a statement. NGOs pledged $182 million at a similar meeting last year.

Upwards of 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced during Syria's more than two-year conflict.

Tuesday's meeting came a day before the Second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria. The United Nations hopes to raise $6.5 billion in humanitarian aid for Syria. The organization has called it the largest ever appeal for a humanitarian emergency.

At the first donors' conference last year in Kuwait, participating nations pledged $1.5 billion in aid, approximately 70 percent of which has been delivered. Money was provided for food, water, medication and tents.

Around 69 countries and 24 international organizations are participating in Wednesday's conference, which will be chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Ban has urged donors to help reach the financial target as the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate.

Aid groups say 10.5 million people in Syria are food insecure or severely food insecure, while over a million children are malnourished. The UN World Food Program (WFP) delivered food aid to 3.8 million people in the country last month, but many of those in the east of the country and in conflict areas could not be reached, the WFP said Tuesday.

dr/hc (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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