Despite generous pledges, Kuwait donor conference for Syria falls short of the vast humanitarian need
Reaction from Oxfam's Syria Country Director Gareth Price-Jones on Kuwait donor conference for humanitarian crisis in Syria:
While governments have pledged generously in Kuwait – particularly the US, the UK and Kuwait – it’s clear that today’s contribution of $2.4bn falls short of the vast humanitarian need represented by the unprecedented UN Syria crisis appeal. It is vital that pledges are swiftly delivered and more governments step up. Even if the conflict were to end tomorrow Syrians will need assistance for years to come.
As the conflict nears its fourth year, millions of Syrians continue to require essential humanitarian aid to survive. Food, water, shelter, medical care, education are all represented by the $6.5 billion dollar appeal the UN has put forward, which itself underestimates the true scale of the need. The international community must come through now with support – including for neighboring states hosting refugees – and look ahead to plan for long-term recovery.
While humanitarian funding is vital, many of the governments attending the conference today will be in Switzerland next week for the Geneva talks, which offer the best possible opportunity to take steps to both alleviate the humanitarian situation and make progress towards the end of the conflict. Governments should push the warring parties to immediately halt the violence and agree to stop arms and ammunition transfers that are fuelling the conflict. For the talks themselves to be a success, they must be inclusive of civil society and women and deliver a clear timeline and process for resolving the crisis, allowing Syrians to set their own terms for a political solution.
For more information or to arrange interviews with Gareth Price Jones, please contact Vanessa Parra +961 70061797 or +1 202 904 0319 , or @ParraV.