A young Syrian woman holds a baby in a camp for displaced people supported by the Turkish Red Crescent in Sarmada in northwest Syria, November 25, 2021 (Francisco Seco/AP)
An international donor conference in the Belgian capital Brussels has pledged $6.7 billion for Syria and neighboring countries.
Of Tuesday’s total, $6.1 billion is specifically for refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless people. The amount is the largest since the donors established a refugee plan in 2015.
In the 12th year of Syria’s conflict, there are almost 6.8 million refugees, and an estimated 6.2 million civilians — including 2.5 million children — displaced with the country.
The European Union’s foreign policy head, Josep Borrell, said, “We are not forgetting the Syrian people and the situation in Syria.”.
However, he added, “Certainly Syria and the suffering of its people might not be at the centre of the news anymore. There’s a certain fatigue after 11 years.”
While war rages in Ukraine, the conflict in Syria is entering its 12th year. We must not forget the Syrian people and continue to push for a just and peaceful Syria.
Together, at the Brussels VI Conference, we reiterated our joint commitment to their future. #SyriaConf2022 pic.twitter.com/IwYMBtncmU
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) May 10, 2022
Funds will be given to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt as well as groups assisting those displaced within Syria.
The money will not be given to the Assad regime for its “reconstruction” after damaging and reoccupying much of the country. The regime has been accused of diverting millions of dollars in aid, including from the UN.
The conference, aiming to reach the UN target of $10.5 billion this yer, included 55 countries. Russia, the essential ally of Syria’s Assad regime, was excluded because of its invasion of Ukraine.