Donors pledge $4.4b in Syria aid for 2018

Jordan said that he took 1.3 million refugees from Syria

UN expects over $4bn in pledges for Syria

The global community pledged on Wednesday to finance humanitarian aid to Syria's population and refugees to the sum of 4.4 billion USA dollars (about 3.6 billion euros) in 2018, UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock said on Wednesday at the Brussels II Conference for Syria.

In Brussels began work under the auspices of the United Nations and the European Union global conference, the goal of which is to raise funds to help Syrian refugees.

"Every single cent we pledged today needs to be swiftly translated into action, spent in an effective and transparent way, this is our common responsibility", Christos Stylianides, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said while announcing the figures.

He added that pledges of a further $3.3 billion for 2019 and after were expected at the conference, attended by more than 80 countries, aid groups and agencies.

"Though the crisis is now in its eighth year, the unmet and growing needs of millions of men, women and children mean that donor countries can not show any sign of fatigue", a coalition of nine NGOs, including Oxfam, Save the Children and World Vision, said in a statement.

In a video message, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the attendees and said too that the only solution for the Syrian crisis is a political one that is based on a "vision of a democratic and non-sectarian state. with full respect for and protection of the rule of law".

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Some 6.1 million people are now internally displaced in Syria, more than five million have fled the country and 13 million including six million children are in need of aid, according to the UN. "This conference didn't go almost far enough to provide adequate support to the millions of Syrians in need of assistance and who are left facing an uncertain future". "Lebanon continues to be a big refugee camp", he said.

President Assad's government has paid little interest in the United Nations talks with Russia, Iran and Turkey launching a rival process in the Kazakh capital Astana a year ago.

The UN's Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura urged the world to prevent a fresh humanitarian disaster in the rebel-held region of Idlib, as officials warned aid funding was running "desperately short".

Europe hoped to use the conference to reinvigorate the faltering UN-led peace process in Geneva, but it was not clear how effective the push was.

The UN coordinates two worldwide appeals in response to the Syria crisis.

UN deputy aid chief Ursula Mueller also told the UN Security Council that the situation in rebel-held Idlib was "catastrophic" with tens of thousands of displaced Syrians from Eastern Ghouta and elsewhere seeking refuge there. "And we are here for the people, all the people of Syria".

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