Joint press conference on Kuwait's contribution to the system-wide response to the humanitarian situation in Syria - Introductory remarks by Rashid Khalikov, Director Geneva of United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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Geneva, 18 April 2013
I would like to thank the Government of Kuwait for supporting so generously the humanitarian response to the victims of the crisis in Syria. The US$275 million that were allocated to United Nations agencies and the International Organization for Migration are enabling these agencies to do their work.
The conflict and humanitarian crisis in Syria has dragged on for over two years. The numbers of Syrians in need - men, women and children - and the number of displaced and refugees from the carnage continue to go up.
The United Nations’ humanitarian agencies and the International Organization for Migration have been doing all we can to respond to people’s most basic needs inside and outside of the country. Our operations are extremely challenging there, and they are costly.
Many Governments and partners have come forward to help us help the Syrians, and we are grateful for that. But the needs continue to grow, not by day, but they are growing by the hour.
A few days ago the Heads of leading UN humanitarian agencies frankly told us that without the necessary financial support, we are precariously close to suspending some humanitarian programmes.
And as it was mentioned today by the Ambassador of Kuwait, it is very important to have political solution as we are addressing the humanitarian needs of the people.
The disbursement of $300 million is recognition of the capacity of the multi-lateral response system and its coordinated strategies.
This is indeed encouraging news at a difficult time. Your generosity inspires us to re-double our efforts and scale up our assistance to those who so desperately need it.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.