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King takes part in donor conference in Kuwait
Kuwait, 30 January 2013

His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday called for setting up a fund to address exceptional circumstances arising from crises sweeping some Arab states, especially the Syrian crisis.

Speaking at an international conference of donor countries in Kuwait for Syrian refugees, King Abdullah urged efforts to safeguard Syria’s unity and territorial integrity and alleviate the suffering of its people.

The King noted that Jordan has been exerting tremendous efforts beyond its capabilities to provide humanitarian aid to the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who have been pouring into the Kingdom.

International donors at the conference pledged more than the targeted $1.5 billion in aid for stricken Syrians, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said.

“I am pleased to announce that pledges have exceeded the target... more than $1.5 billion has been pledged including the $184 million pledged by non-governmental organisations,” Ban told a news conference.

“About $1 billion is earmarked for Syria’s neighbours hosting refugees and $500 million for humanitarian aid to Syrians displaced inside the country,” Ban said in closing remarks to the one-day conference.

The $500 million would be channelled through UN partner agencies in Syria, and the entire aid pledge would cover the next six months.

The conference opened with a pledge worth $300 million from Kuwait, followed by similar promises from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The US has announced $155 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people.

The UK announced £50 million ($78.8 million) in Kuwait as additional aid to Syrian refugees.
The conference’s initial aim was raising pledges of about $1.5 billion to provide aid to around five million people affected by Syria’s 22-month conflict.

Calling for an end to the violence and more aid to address the humanitarian crisis in Syria, Ban urged the international community to intensify efforts to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, commending the humanitarian efforts exerted by Syria’s neighbours and international organisations in this regard.

Planning Minister Jafar Hassan said Jordan seeks to secure some $500 million in aid to cover the needs of Syrian refugees over the next six months.

Hassan noted that aid to Jordan will be used to expand Zaatari refugee camp and other camps under construction, and provide basic services to Syrians who sought refuge in the Kingdom.

The minister said Jordan is hosting around 330,000 Syrian refugees, including 90,000 in Zaatari camp and other refugee shelters.

Around 60 countries and 20 international organisations took part in the Kuwait conference.

Inaugurating the conference, Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah called on the UN Security Council to put an end to the suffering of the Syrian people, pledging $300 million to help countries hosting refugees fund humanitarian aid.
António Guterres, UN high commissioner for refugees, described the situation in Syria as “catastrophic”, saying that there was “no light at the end of the tunnel.”

Guterres explained that some 222,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan have registered with UNHCR, calling on the international community to help the Kingdom and all countries hosting Syrian refugees.