Jakarta Post

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
Video 29°C
DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
29°C Clear

Light rain starting this evening, continuing until tomorrow morning.

  • Fri

    25℃ - 31℃

  • Sat

    25℃ - 31℃

  • Sun

    25℃ - 31℃

  • Mon

    26℃ - 30℃

Leaders seek funds for Syria, elusive stability for region

  • Jill Lawless

    The Jakarta Post

London | Thu, February 4 2016 | 04:40 pm
Leaders seek funds for Syria, elusive stability for region Armed police officers stand guard by the main entrance before the start of the 'Supporting Syria and the Region' conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London, Thursday. (AP/Matt Dunham)(AP/Matt Dunham)

 Armed police officers stand guard by the main entrance before the start of the 'Supporting Syria and the Region' conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London, Thursday. (AP/Matt Dunham)

Leaders and diplomats from 70 countries are meeting in London Thursday to pledge billions to help millions of Syrians displaced by war '€” and try to slow the chaotic exodus of refugees to Europe.

The one-day meeting, held under tight security near the British Parliament, is aimed at gathering donations and agreeing on plans for economic and educational projects to help the 4.6 million Syrians who have sought refuge in neighboring countries including Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

The meeting opens hours after the latest UN-led bid to start peace talks in Geneva was suspended for three weeks '€” a sign of major difficulties. The faltering peace process increases pressure on donor countries to commit long-term aid to the victims of a five-year civil war that has no quick end in sight.

The UN and regional countries say they need US$9 billion in assistance for 2016 alone, as the situation in the region deteriorates,

Conference co-host Britain has pledged 1.2 billion pounds ($1.75 billion) in new aid between now and 2020, and Secretary of State John Kerry is due to announce the US commitment later.

Previous aid conferences for Syria have failed to meet their targets. Last year's, in Kuwait, raised just half its $7 billion target, forcing cuts to programs such as refugee food aid.

But this year's organizers '€” which include Britain, Germany and the UN '€” hope that finding jobs and schools for refugees can foster stability and keep displaced Syrians in the Middle East, slowing the chaotic migration of refugees to Europe.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said that "using fundraising to build stability, create jobs and provide education can have a transformational effect in the region '€” and create a future model for humanitarian relief."

"And we can provide the sense of hope needed to stop people thinking they have no option but to risk their lives on a dangerous journey to Europe," he said.

The conference also will discuss plans to create economic incentives for countries that are under the strain of housing millions of newcomers.

The politicians, diplomats and aid groups also will seek ways of getting more humanitarian aid to suffering civilians inside Syria.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told an audience at Cambridge University on Wednesday that the UN has been able to deliver aid to "much less than 5 percent" of the 400,000 Syrians living in besieged villages, many of them in areas controlled by the Islamic State group.

Neither the Syrian government nor rebel groups are due to attend the conference. But Ban said one of the meeting's goals was "influencing the parties and regional powers" to find a political solution to Syria's five-year civil war.

"That's the only way. There is no military solution," he told the BBC.

NEWS PULSE

TRY A DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION

Join the discussions

0 Comments

Posting as Guest