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Second Syrian Donors Conference kicks off in Kuwait
Kuwait, Jan.15 (Petra) - The Second Kuwait Pledging Conference for Syria started Wednesday with the participation of 69 states and 24 organizations at the initiative of the Emir of Kuwait His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and in response to a call by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In his opening speech, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah announced a USD 500 million donation from the public and private sector in order to alleviate the sufferings of the Syrian people.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also pledged to send an additional $380 million in aid this year to help the victims of Syria's civil war, while Saudi Arabia raised its donation to $260 million, Qatar pledged $60 million and Iraq donated $13 million. Britain pledged 100 million pounds ($164 million).

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who chaired the one-day conference, expressed the hope that the Geneva conference will form a transitional governing body to solve the crisis in Syria, adding that almost half the population in Syria has been affected and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance especially since 40 percent of the hospitals have been destroyed.

The international community hopes to raise USD 6.5 billion to aid about nine million people displaced within Syria and 3.2 million Syrian refugees who crossed into neighbouring countries.

Jordanian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Ibrahim Saif, stressed the importance of the international support in alleviating the suffering of the Syrian refugees in Jordan, saying that Jordan continued to provide all forms of support to the refugees as per available capacities.

In a speech delivered on behalf of the Jordanian government, the minister said the number of Syrian refugees who have entered the Kingdom since the start of the Syrian crisis in March 2011 has reached 600,000.

This number, according to the United Nations’ records, is equivalent to 10 percent of the total population in Jordan, and 80 per cent of them are living in the cities and villages of Jordan while 20 per cent are living in the refugee camps.

The minister thanked the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, who launched the Regional Response Plan (2014) which estimated the Kingdom's need of around $1.6 billion , which includes $1.2 billion for humanitarian needs and $ 413 million for the government emergency needs in health, education, municipalities and water sectors.

//Petra//S Kh 15/1/2014 - 03:06:50 PM
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