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Charity NGOs pledge $182 mn for Syrians
January 29, 2013 , 3 : 22 pm
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An internally displaced boy looks out of a school at a village outside Damascus. Reuters
Non-governmental charity organisations, meeting Tuesday in Kuwait ahead of a major donors conference, pledged $182 million for Syrian civilians affected by the deadly conflict.
The announcement was made during the meeting hosted by the International Islamic Charitable Organisation (IICO) of Kuwait, the official KUNA news agency reported.
About 77 local, regional and international non-governmental charity organisations are taking part in the one-day event.
The head of IICO, Abdullah al-Maatuq, assured the meeting the funds raised would go towards aiding the millions of Syrian displaced within the war-torn country or who have fled to neighbouring countries.
A UN-sponsored International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria opens in Kuwait Wednesday with the aim of raising $1.5 billion in aid for around five million Syrians facing hardships from their country's 22-month deadly conflict.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon arrived in Kuwait Tuesday to attend the meeting which will be opened by Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah amid local reports he would announce a pledge worth $500 million.
The funds are needed to finance a major UN humanitarian mission inside Syria and to provide aid for hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.
The UN refugee agency said on Tuesday that there has been a steep rise in the number of Syrian refugees during the past few weeks and their number has surpassed 700,000.
UN humanitarian operations director John Ging warned ahead of the conference that the United Nations will be forced to cut already reduced food rations to hundreds of thousands of Syrians unless a huge cash injection is found.
The United Nations says that more than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria's uprising, which broke out in March 2011 with peaceful protests but morphed into an armed insurgency after a harsh regime crackdown.
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