UN humanitarian chief welcomes US$ 6 billion pledges for Syria crisis

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Families that fled fighting in eastern Aleppo, Syria, take refuge in a large warehouse in Jibreen. Photo: UNICEF/Al-Issa

The UN humanitarian chief, Stephen O'Brien has welcomed donor pledges of about US $6 billion to help Syria and the region in 2017.

As the world's largest humanitarian and refugee crisis grinds on into a seventh year, the future remains uncertain, he warned.

The UN and partners aim to reach 12.8 million people this year both inside the country and across its borders.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The high-level Supporting the future of Syria and the region conference in Brussels concluded with a "clear international commitment" to continue to respond to the Syria crisis, UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien said.

A statement released by OCHA, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs which Mr O'Brien heads, confirmed that 41 donors pledged a combined US$6 billion for 2017 in immediate and longer-term support.

A further US $3.7 billion was promised by the same contributors for 2018 and beyond.

The money will go to support humanitarian relief, protection and resilience-building for people in need.

Neighbouring countries will also get help to shoulder the heavy burden from the spill-over effects of the crisis.

Stephen O'Brien, who is also the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said the world needs to "see these pledges turn into cash for action."

UN-coordinated response plans for Syria and the region combined require US$8 billion for 2017 alone.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’06”

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