UAE pledges Dh503m to Syrian refugees
Dubai: The UAE announced the provision of Dh503m, ($137m) during the country’s participation in the fourth Syria donors’ conference.
World leaders gathered in London on Thursday to pledge billions of dollars in aid for refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war, in an attempt to contain the deepening migration crisis on Europe’s borders.
Representatives from 60 countries and international organisations – including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN Secretary General Ban Ki- Moon and US secretary of state John Kerry – were aiming to commit $9bn in additional humanitarian aid to Syrians over the next four years.
Shaikha Lubna Al Qassimi, Minister of Development and International Cooperation, President of the UAE’s Committee on Foreign Humanitarian Aid, led the UAE’s delegation to the conference.
She said that with the Syrian crisis entering its fifth year, holding such conferences, whose direct results are seen every day, has become an absolute necessity in order to reduce the pain and preserve the human dignity of the Syrian people.
UAE humanitarian aid to affected Syrians since 2012 has exceeded Dh 2.2 billion, the equivalent of USD 600 million, which constitutes about 0.15 per cent of the UAE’s gross national income. The value of UAE aid directed to Syrian refugees in the hosting countries and the neighbourhood to Syria amounted to Dh 2 billion.
Any optimism over the amount expected to be committed by donors, however, was tempered by the news that peace talks in Geneva, seeking a diplomatic resolution to the brutal five-year conflict, had broken down.
The money raised at the London conference will be primarily directed towards Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, which are struggling to cope with the exodus of refugees coming across the border from Syria.
In Moscow meanwhile, the Defence Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that Russia has serious grounds to suspect Turkey of preparing for a military incursion in Turkey.
“The Russian Defence Ministry registers a growing number of signs of hidden preparation of the Turkish Armed Forces for active actions on the territory of Syria,” he said in a statement.
– with inputs from Financial Times and WAM