60 nations invited to Syria donors meet in Kuwait

December 19, 2013 - 12:19:03 pm

KUWAIT CITY: Around 60 nations have been invited to a second donors conference for Syria in a bid to raise an unprecedented $6.5 billion in humanitarian aid, a UN official said Thursday.

The United Nations on Monday appealed for a record $12.9 billion in global emergency aid, half of which is for victims of Syria's war, which has killed an estimated 126,000 people and displaced millions more both within the country and across its borders.

The one-day event will be held on January 15 in Kuwait, which hosted the first conference a year ago, assistant UN Secretary General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator Nigel Fisher told the KUNA news agency.

Fisher said the funds will be used to aid around 13.4 million Syrians whom the United Nations estimates will be affected by the war by the end of 2014. 

The figure is higher than the original 10 million people announced by the United Nations six months ago. 

The United Nations will need $2.3 billion to support 9.3 million people inside Syria and $4.2 billion for Syrian refugees, expected to nearly double to 4.1 million next year, the UN official said.

The first donors conference in Kuwait last January saw participating nations pledge $1.5 billion. 

But only around 75 percent of the pledges were fulfilled, according to a Kuwaiti official.

Next month's event will be chaired by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

The aid is for food, which accounts for one-fifth of the sum, clean water, medical care and schooling, as well as to build refugee camps. (AFP)

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