European Union conference raises $4.4bn for war-ravaged Syria

EU Urges Russia, Iran, Turkey To Press For Pause In Syria Conflict

Jordan said that he took 1.3 million refugees from Syria

Last year, at the first such gathering, pledges by the European Union and global donors totaled more than five and a half billion dollars.

Some 6.1 million people are now internally displaced in Syria, more than five million have fled the country and 13 million including six million children are in need of aid, according to the UN.

Russian Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said on the sidelines of the conference that considerable part of the sum that was gathered at the second donors' conference would be used to support refugees in Syria's neighbor states.

The State of Kuwait today reiterated its full support to United Nations efforts to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria and called for an immediate end to the fighting, Kuwait news agency (KUNA) reported. The conference began Tuesday and will look to support Syrians - both inside the war-torn country and across the region - and communities hosting refugees, as well as aim to bolster support for a political solution.

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura on Tuesday urged the worldwide community not to allow a new humanitarian catastrophe to unfold in the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib, on the Turkish border, which has seen a massive influx of people fleeing the conflict.

He said that "Idlib is the big new challenge - 2.5 million people. there are women, children, civilians, and this is looming up there".

Humanitarian agencies also pleaded for peace before the Syrian military and its Russian and Iranian backers turn their firepower on the rebel-controlled Syrian city of Idlib, warning of civilian suffering on a greater scale than during the siege of Aleppo previous year. This was in part because Assad's government has paid little interest in them, and Russia, Iran and Turkey launched a rival process in the Kazakh capital Astana a year ago.

Earlier the conference heard from Saad Harri, the Lebanese prime minister, who faces election in two weeks.

"The bitter truth is that despite all our combined efforts conditions have deteriorated".

Britain, Germany and France were among those offering new money for refugees at the conference, which brought together 86 governments, aid groups and financial and regional institutions. At the same time, only 660 thousand of them were registered as refugees.

"We were and are concerned on the humanitarian side by Idlib".

Federica Mogherini, the EU's foreign affairs representative, said it was "not realistic for any worldwide institutions to give money to Assad". Mogherini also called on Russia, Iran and Turkey to halt military action in Syria.

"We are appealing on [the Syrian peoples'] behalf for an end to the violence: for a political solution, for a safe future with hope "of education, healthcare, work, and a return home".

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