Billions pledged to Syria, as tens of thousands flee their homes
Donor nations decided to give more than $10 billion to help civilians hit by the conflict, even as intense fighting hit areas near Aleppo.
Donor nations on Thursday pledged to give more than $10 billion in aid to Syrians by 2020 after a meeting in London. A new exodus was reported from the country hit by civil war, with tens of thousands reportedly fleeing air strikes in Syria. British Prime Minister David Cameron said the aid will provide Syrians with life-saving food, medical care, and shelter, BBC reported.
The United Nation’s Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, praised the meeting in London and said that never before was so much money raised for a single crisis in one day. Germany, France, US, Australia, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Japan, the UAE, Austria, Switzerland, Estonia, Denmark and Finland, along with the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, were among those who also committed funds.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said around 70,000 refugees were making their way to Syria’s borders after a fresh government offensive, backed by Russian air strikes. Reports said the new strikes in Syria led to the suspension of peace talks in Geneva. AFP reported that while the United States demanded Russia stop its bombings in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad, Western nations also accused Syria of sabotaging talks with their new military offensive.
Aleppo city was Syria’s main economic powerhouse, and has been split between the opposition’s control in the east and the government in the west. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitory organisation, said the Syrian regime was likely to now target Aleppo rebels’ last remaining supply route. The organisation’s chief Rami Abdel Rahman said around 40,00 civilians had fled to the borders.