World Bulletin/News Desk
United Nations aid chief Valerie Amos said on Sunday the world body hoped a humanitarian donor conference for Syria hosted in Kuwait this week would raise more than last year's $1.5 billion.
Speaking to Reuters during a visit to Syria ahead of the Wednesday meeting, Amos said the United Nations was looking for a total of $6.5 billion this year to help those suffering from the nearly three-year conflict.
Syria's war has killed over 100,000 people and forced more than 2 million to flee abroad, according to the UN. Another 4 million have been displaced inside the country.
Amos, who met with government officials and visited displaced Syrians, said the situation was getting worse.
"The numbers are going up significantly in terms of the numbers of people that we are needing to help here inside Syria, the number of people displaced," she told Reuters.
"I'm not sure when they will be able to go back home. Everyone is desperate to go home."
Amos said some 2.5 million people were in areas that were hard for aid workers to reach due to fighting and sieges by government or rebel forces.
"There are people in communities that we have not been able to get to at all, people in communities which are besieged either by the government forces or by opposition forces who have not been able to leave and where relief goods have not been able to go in," she said.
The $1.5 billion pledged via the UN at last year's Kuwait hosted conference was used in Syria and surrounding countries to provide food rations, medicine, drinking water and shelters.
"We hope we'll raise a little more this time," Amos said. "And we will of course continue our fundraising during the year."
Syria's Friend meeting
Meanwhile, countries including Turkey represented by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met to discuss the details of the second peace conference to be held in Geneva on January 22 along the humanitarian situation in Syria.
The meeting, hosted by France, attended by Turkey, US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan as well as a delegation from the Syrian opposition led by Ahmad el-Jarba.
According to the reports, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and top envoys from 10 other countries are raising the pressure on Syria's main opposition group to attend peace talks that would bring it face-to-face with the Syrian government.
The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition is nearing collapse, hampered by infighting, international pressure and disagreement over whether to negotiate with Syria's president, Bashar Assad.Last Mod: 12 Ocak 2014, 16:43