U.N. seeking to raise $5.2 billion in 2013 for Syrian war refugees

June 7, 2013 at 1:32 PM
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NEW YORK, June 7 (UPI) -- The United Nations and its partners were seeking to raise $5.2 billion in 2013 for Syrian war refugees but so far only $1.24 billion has materialized.

"But I think what we as principals would like to make clear today is that these are massive figures but those figures mask a human tragedy," U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said in a release. "Ordinary, men, women and children are bearing the brunt of this crisis. More than 80,000 people have been killed and these are figures which are rising everyday. Schools, hospitals, water, sanitation plants have all been targeted.

"We, as the United Nations, are concerned that as these needs are rising, we are not able to meet them all. We are working with a number of constraints, including the security situation on the ground."

About one in three Syrians is in need of urgent help, Amos said.

"We are facing a catastrophic situation in Syria, but we must not forget that on a daily basis thousands of people are being forcibly displaced in other regions and countries where there is conflict," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said Thursday. "I encourage other donors to come forward as the European Union has done today."

The EU pledged to contribute $530 million for the conflict in Syria in 2013.

About $331 million of the EU's donation will be spent on humanitarian assistance in Syria and neighboring countries, while the rest will go to development-related for communities hosting refugees, Guterres' office said.

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