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The New Arab Staff

Aiding Syria: Brussels IV conference pledges explained

Reported pledges fell short of the $10 billion target set by the UN [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 June, 2020

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The Brussels IV conference on Syria addresses one of the biggest humanitarian emergencies. This year, the UN's goal is to raise around $10 billion.

Around 60 countries, international agencies and civil society groups participated in the virtual Brussels IV conference on Tuesday, announcing pledges to aid Syria and neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees.

As Syria grapples with an devastating economic crisis and a coronavirus outbreak, international organisations have warned that millions of Syrians could face starvation.

This year, the UN said it aimed to secure around $10 billion in aid, divided between assistance inside Syria and support to neighbouring countries who are hosting millions of Syrian refugees.

The eight-hour conference also encourages dialogue between host countries, Syrian civil society and donor state representatives.

How much have countries pledged?

Donors pledged a total of 6.9 billion euros ($7.74 billion) during the conference, to be delivered from 2020-2022 depending on individual donors. The highest pledges came from the EU, Germany, France and the US respectively.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, said EU institutions were pledging €2.3 Billion (around $2.58) for the years 2020 and 2021. 

Germany - one of the biggest donors providing humanitarian assistance to Syria - pledged $1.8 billion. 

"Today, we can demonstrate that the world cares, that the people of Syria are not forgotten," Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

Maas callied for the renewal of a UN resolution allowing cross-border assistance from Turkey and Iraq.

France made the second highest pledge for a state, committing to fund €845 million ($948.9 million) through 2022 in humanitarian support.

The US, also a major donor, pledged $696 million, which was announced by US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey.

Read also: Sanctions, Covid-19 and economic collapse: What is the future of international aid to Syria?

The UK pledged around $369 million, Denmark $105 million, Qatar $100 million, Sweden $96 million and Ireland $28 million. 

Titled "Supporting the future of Syria and the region", the conference was the eighth on Syria attended by international donors.

The high-level meetings serve as an effective tool to support the UN's political and humanitarian efforts for Syria.


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