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Syria crisis: UN Humanitarian Chief welcomes donor pledges of $6 billion to help people in need in 2017 [EN/AR]

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(Brussels, 5 April 2017) The high-level Supporting the future of Syria and the region conference in Brussels concluded today with a clear international commitment to continue to respond to the Syria crisis by supporting humanitarian relief, protection and resilience-building for people in need, and also help the neighbouring countries to shoulder the heavy burden from the spill-over effects of the crisis.

Forty-one donors at the conference pledged a combined US$6 billion for 2017 in immediate and longer term support, and $3.7 billion for 2018 and beyond. The conference was co-chaired by EU, UN, Germany, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar and the United Kingdom.

“The needs have never been greater and the requirements have never been higher for the Syria crisis. Today has been a momentous opportunity for much of the world to come together to commit more support and solidarity for Syrians and those affected across the region,” said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien in welcoming the pledges. “We now need, as soon as possible, to see these pledges turned into cash for action.”

As the world’s largest humanitarian and refugee crisis grinds on into a seventh year, the future remains uncertain. Millions of Syrian men, women and children, many uprooted from their homes or seeking protection in neighbouring countries, live in fear and deprivation, experiencing unrelenting violence. An entire generation of children and youth is at risk of growing up without hope, without a childhood, without the prospects to jobs. Their needs are critical and immediate.

Helping to build resilience and mitigate mounting poverty in the protracted Syria crisis is a major priority for humanitarian and development partners in Syria and in the region, while humanitarian deliveries remains a lifeline for millions of people. UN-coordinated response plans for Syria and the region combined require US$8 billion for 2017 alone.

“Life-saving and life-sustaining food, clean water, medical care and shelter is already being provided across Syria. We have today heard commitments from a wide range of countries to continue to resource principled humanitarian action through regular programmes, across conflict lines, across borders, and via air operations,” said Mr. O’Brien, warning that lack of humanitarian access, especially to over 4.7 million people in besieged and hard to reach areas, remains a major obstacle for delivery of aid.

During 2016, the UN and partners in Syria and across its borders reached an estimated 11.2 million people in need. In 2017, UN and partners aim to reach 12.8 million people.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.