01:08 GMT +312 November 2019
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    In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 file photo, smoke rises over Saif Al Dawla district in Aleppo, Syria.

    International Donors Pledge Billions in Syria War Relief

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    Middle East
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    The third International Pledging Conference for Syria collected $3.8 billion from donors worldwide on Tuesday, to aid the millions of people who have been affected by the ongoing conflict in the country.

    Officials in Kuwait City said the civil war in Syria, now in its fifth year, has resulted in the largest displacement of people in the world. Around 30,000 people fled the city of Idlib in the week leading up to the conference alone, adding to the 12 million Syrians who require humanitarian aid, including nearly 4 million refugees in neighboring countries.

    The head of the United Nations told those in attendance that four out of five people in Syria were living in "poverty, misery and deprivation".

    "The Syrian people are victims of the worst humanitarian crisis of our time," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said.

    The Syrian people are victims of the worst humanitarian crisis of our time, said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
    "The Syrian people are victims of the worst humanitarian crisis of our time," said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon

    However, while $3.8 billion in aid may seem like a watershed, it still less than half of the $8.4 billion the UN requested this year. 

    "What does the international community expect millions of Syrians to survive on?" Andy Baker, who leads Oxfam's response to the Syria crisis, asked. "The collective response risks leaving the nearly 4 million refugees and those trapped in Syria to their fate while neighboring countries face unbearable strain."

    "While we cannot bring peace, this funding will help humanitarian organizations deliver life-saving food, water, shelter, health services and other relief to millions of people in urgent need, the UN’s humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said of the collected donations.

    Four years in, the country’s civil war, in which the Syrian army has been fighting opposition and rebel groups including the self-proclaimed Islamic State and the al-Nursa Front, has claimed the lives of 220,000 people since it began in 2011, according to UN estimates.


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