International donors pledge USD 4.4 billion in Syrian conflict for 2018: UN

Vastavam web: International donors will pledge USD 4.4 billion in aid of the Syrian conflict at a Brussels conference today, a senior UN official said, well short of the amount hoped for.”My best guess is that by the end of the day we will have heard pledges for 2018 of USD 4.4 billion,” Mark Lowcock, the head of UN aid agency UNOCHA, told a news conference.

“I want particularly to thank the EU, Germany and the United Kingdom who have made exceptionally large pledges today,” Lowcock said.The money is needed for humanitarian work inside Syria and to support refugees in neighbouring countries, the UN says.The UN official had earlier told AFP he hoped to see USD 8 billion pledged on Wednesday, warning that some programmes may need to be cut if funds are not forthcoming.

London and Berlin led the pledges today, with Britain announcing 450 million pounds (USD 630 million) for 2018 and another 300 million pounds for 2019, while Germany said it would donate more than a billion euros.Some 6.1 million people are now internally displaced in Syria, more than five million have fled the country and 13 million including six million children are in need of aid, according to the UN.