Donors pledge Syria aid in hope of hitting $6 billion

BRUSSELS: The European Union is pledging 2.01 billion euros ($2.27 billion) from its 2019 budget for Syrians in need, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced on Thursday, at a
donors’ conference aimed at raising $6 billion overall.
The EU pledge, which does not include member state contributions, includes 1.5 billion euros in previously earmarked money for refugees living in Turkey.
The Sultanate’s delegation at the conference was chaired by Najeem bin Sulaiman al Abri, Sultanate’s Ambassador to Belgium, and Head of its mission to the European Union.
The European Union will put 560 million euros towards supporting the population in Syria and those who have fled to neighbouring countries — notably Jordan and Lebanon — as well as helping host communities, Mogherini said.
Meanwhile, Germany announced an overall pledge of 1.44 billion euros, although that money covers a three-year period until 2021. Around 800 million euros of that is thought to be new money for 2019.
The goal is to match last year’s funding, said UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock. With the Syrian conflict entering its ninth year, fundraisers are having to combat donor fatigue. “If we get to close to — or even a bit better than — the $6 billion that we raised last year for our appeals, then that will be a good day,” Lowcock said ahead of Thursday’s pledging session. — Agencies