Nearly US$ 8 billion needed to help Syria and surrounding region

Nearly US$8 billion is needed to help Syria and other countries in the region grappling with the devastating effects of a war now entering its sixth year.

UN humanitarian and development agencies have asked countries to step up with the funding, saying millions of people in Syria and across the region are in dire need of help.

With no end in sight to the conflict that has left more than 250,000 people dead and 1.2 million injured, the UN says new funding is needed to provide critical support for Syria and neighbouring countries.

The US$8 billion appeal that makes up the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan for 2016 is broken down into two parts – support for the 4.7 million refugees that have fled Syria and the communities hosting them, and another chunk of money for the 13.5 million people displaced inside Syria itself.

Stephen O’Brien is the UN’s top humanitarian official and has said that the Syrian people need help from the international community «more than ever».

«Of particular concern are the nearly 400,000 people who are besieged by warring parties are effectively obstructed from receiving any kind of humanitarian relief at all.»

A pledging conference is planned to take place in London on 4 February, and is being called an «opportunity to shine a light on the human impact of conflict». 

Mr O’Brien called on countries to send high-ranking officials to that conference to send a message that the crisis in Syria has not been forgotten.

Veronica Reeves, United Nations