Prolonged Syrian war causing donor fatigue

Affected Syrian children receive medical treatment after an alleged poisonous-gas attack in Douma Eastern Ghouta

The conference, the second of its kind since 2017, brings together participants from more than 85 countries and organizations at ministerial level, as well as those from more than 200 non-governmental organizations (NGOs). While the United Nations said more money may still come in, the USA government is reviewing its Syria policy, including its humanitarian support, and Trump has questioned the value of such aid as he pursues his "America First" agenda.

United Nations agencies issued an appeal on April 24 urging donor countries to step up contributions to the UN's annual $9.1 billion humanitarian appeal for Syria and neighboring countries, warning that only $2.3 billion had been received so far.

Global donors on Wednesday pledged an estimated $4.4 billion in humanitarian aid for Syria and neighbors sheltering its refugees in 2018, falling significantly short of the more than $7 billion the United Nations is seeking.

Meanwhile, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in her opening address said "we are here for Syrians, all of them". She announced today that the European Union will confirm for the next year the same contribution as last year and "we aim at maintaining the same level of contribution until 2020 - that is 560 million euros ( Dollars 683 million) for our European Union's support to Syrians in Jordan, Lebanon and inside Syria and for the host communities".

The European Union has made a mistake by refusing to invite representatives of the Syrian government to attend a donor conference in Brussels, Russia's Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said upon his arrival at the event.

Ferhan underscored the need to ensure legal and civil registration for all Syrian refugees in Jordan in order to fulfill the commitments of the Jordan Compact, commending the recent Ministry of Interior-UNHCR campaign to regularise the status of informal Syrians living outside of camps. Humanitarian aid is also set to go to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and other countries overwhelmed with some six million Syrian refugees. "The pledges today show that the conditions for Syrians will only get worse in the future", said Rouba Mhaissen, a Syrian-Lebanese activist working for refugees.

Lowcock said additional pledges of $3.3 billion for 2019 are expected, but more money is needed for humanitarian purposes in Syria and to assist refugees in nearby countries.

Achim Steiner, head of the U.N. Development Programme, said there was a risk of so-called donor fatigue because of the sheer length of the multi-sided war.

The United Nations says more than 700,000 people have been displaced this year as al-Assad has escalated attacks against rebel forces, intensifying the humanitarian crisis. "In 2018, the humanitarian drama.is actually at its peak". He said the plight of Syrian refugees in the region is getting worse, and will only detotiarion with reduced worldwide funding for aid.

But the West has ruled that out, seeing money as its best leverage to try to force Assad into peace talks, so far in vain.

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