UN asks for support for Syria, region ahead of pledge conference

Source: Xinhua| 2020-06-29 23:48:46|Editor: huaxia

UNITED NATIONS, June 29 (Xinhua) -- The heads of the UN humanitarian, refugee, and development agencies on Monday urged international donors to redouble their commitment to Syrians and regional countries that host Syrian refugees.

The appeal was launched by UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, and UN Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner on the eve of the fourth Supporting Syria and the Region conference in Brussels.

Governments and other donors are expected to announce pledges of support for a 3.8-billion-U.S.-dollar humanitarian response plan inside Syria and a 6.04-billion-dollar refugee and resilience plan for countries in Syria's neighborhood. The plans are currently 30 percent and 19 percent funded, respectively, said the UN agencies in a press release.

"The conflict in Syria has lasted almost as long as the First and Second World War combined," said Lowcock. "A whole generation of children has known nothing but hardship, destruction and deprivation. Nearly 2.5 million children are out of school. The economy is crumbling, millions remain displaced, and more and more people are going hungry. The world can do something about that tomorrow. Generous pledges, quickly paid out, can help the UN and humanitarian NGOs stay the course in Syria and get people the food, shelter, health services and protection they urgently need."

More than 13.2 million people, over half of the pre-war population, remain displaced inside and outside the country. This is the largest refugee crisis in the world with 6.6 million refugees scattered throughout the world. The vast majority -- over 5.5 million refugees -- live in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, said the press release.

After nearly a decade of hosting some of the world's most vulnerable people, host governments are struggling to sustain services to refugees. The situation is compounded by the disastrous socio-economic impact of COVID-19, it said. Enditem