International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria Kuwait 15 January 2014

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1 International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria Kuwait 15 January 2014 HIGHLIGHTS International donors pledged US$2.3 billion to support aid organizations response to the massive humanitarian needs caused by the crisis in Syria, $800 million more than last year. His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of Kuwait, opened the conference and announced Kuwait s pledge of $500 million. Forty donors countries pledged to help alleviate the suffering of 9.3 million women, children and men in need in Syria and 2.3 million refugees who have sought protection in neighboring countries. Member States are committed to the provision of appropriate assistance through a Comprehensive Regional Strategy linking relief and development and aimed at bringing peace and stability to the region in addition to the humanitarian assistance pledged. Member States appreciated the leading role of Kuwait in hosting the pledging conference and stressed the need to coordinate contributions through multilateral channels with the UN and other international organizations. Summary The International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, hosted by the Amir of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and chaired by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon was held in Kuwait City on 15 January HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah pledged $500 million from governmental and private sources in Kuwait. The Amir urged the international community to donate generously to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of people affected by the Syrian crisis. The Secretary-General of the United Nations thanked the Amir of Kuwait for Kuwait s generous contribution and for hosting the Conference for the second time in one year. He stated that the UN appeal for needs inside Syria and neighbouring countries amounted to $6.5 billion, making it the largest appeal ever issued by the UN. The Secretary- General asked delegations to respond generously. 68 delegations (62 Member States, 4 regional organizations, 5 international organizations) were present at the conference of which 39 announced pledges in the conference. The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), Ms. Valerie Amos, outlined the pressing needs inside Syria by presenting the Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP), and Mr. Antonio 1

2 Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, highlighted the needs of refugees in the region as outlined in the Syria Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP6). A number of key issues were raised by donors and many highlighted the upcoming Geneva II conference and the need to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria. Countries of influence and all parties to the conflict in Syria were encouraged to take part in the talks. On access, the tactics of besiegement were condemned by participating delegations. Both the Syrian government and the opposition forces were asked to grant immediate access to the besieged areas. US Secretary of State, John Kerry, noted that if the Syrian Government was able to grant access to the chemical weapons inspectors, it should be able to do the same for humanitarian workers. Although the work of the UN and its partners was recognized, the need to reach more people with assistance was stressed. The huge needs of the host communities and the impact of the crisis on countries neighboring Syria were recognized. Several delegations referred to the 2 October 2013 Security Council Presidential Statement and encouraged the Syrian Government to comply with its requirements. Key Messages The pledges made today prove that the people devastated by this conflict are not forgotten, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon. Syria is the biggest humanitarian crisis we face today, said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, who recently visited displaced families in Syria. Every child, every woman, every man affected by this crisis deserves our continued support. This conflict has not only caused one of the worst humanitarian crises in decades, but it is also the biggest threat to global peace and security the world has seen in a long time, said High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres. Media coverage The conference received significant attention from local and international media. More than 210 journalists from over 100 outlets covered the conference. An exhibition for the media was organized in the margins of the conference. OCHA, UNHCR, WHO, UNICEF, WFP and IOM set up media booths. The booths were visited by the Kuwaiti Minister of Information Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al- Humoud Al-Sabah. UN senior officials and communication officers received the minister and shared summaries on their activities in Syria and the region. Side Events and Meetings In the margins of the conference, the UN Secretary-General s Humanitarian Envoy, Dr. Abdullah Al Matouq, convened a meeting with donors who pledged more than $50 million at the conference to discuss the establishment of a top donors group for Syria. The idea was welcomed by the donors who attended the meeting. Dr. Al-Matouq referred to the proposed forum as a platform for big donors to share information about their funding priorities and disbursement intentions, and to examine the wider humanitarian response and its effectiveness. At a side event, the No Lost Generation initiative was presented by the European Commissioner responsible for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, and the UK Secretary of State for International Development, Ms. Justine Greening. The No Lost Generation initiative received significant support from the speakers and the moral obligation to address the needs of the most vulnerable was stressed by many. The event reflected strong donor attention to the plight of children and young people. The initiative aims at protecting the youth of Syria and providing them with the education, protection and well-being required to prepare them for rebuilding Syria and becoming the future leaders of the country. At another side event chaired by the UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Mr. Nigel Fisher 2

3 and Regional United Nations Development Group (UNDG), Ms. Sima Bahous, Chair of Arab States/Middle East and North Africa Region, United Nations Development Program, discussed the strain on national budgets and community resources in Jordan and Lebanon. The two countries presented their plans to address the needs of both refugees and host families. The plans highlighted the long-lasting effects of the Syrian Crisis on the socio-economic fabric of host countries. Main Topics and Common Themes from Member States statements: Inside Syria Efforts on diplomacy and the politicization of aid Member States highlighted the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria. They condemned the use of deprivation of food and medicine, and demanded that humanitarian aid not be held hostage to political and military tactics. Member States emphasized the need for more diplomatic efforts to find a political solution. Participants highlighted that humanitarian aid must move in parallel with political dialogue. Concerned parties and countries of influence were encouraged to partake in Geneva II talks to allow for a move towards political transition that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people and preserves an independent, peaceful and strong Syria with sovereignty and territorial integrity. Countries from the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and the League of Arab States (LAS) reaffirmed their commitment to support the people of Syria stressing the need for political dialogue between the fighting factions to preserve the social structure, land and unity of Syria. The intergovernmental organizations reminded the international community of its responsibility to oblige the Syrian regime to comply with binding international treaties and agreements. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) emphasized the flagrant politicization of aid, reinforced the need to distinguish and separate principled humanitarian action from pure relief assistance, illustrating the widening gap between humanitarian needs and the ability to deliver effectively. Access There was an urgent call for the implementation of the UN Security Council Presidential Statement of 2 October 2013 to place pressure on all parties of the conflict to respect human rights and international humanitarian law, the protection of civilians, and unhindered humanitarian access across all boundaries/ in besieged areas. The safety and security of humanitarian workers was emphasized. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) asked the international community to negotiate with the fighting factions to allow cross-border operations and conduct proper humanitarian needs assessment inside Syria. Arms and armed groups Member States committed to providing the greatest possible cooperation to ensure destruction and elimination of Syria s chemical weapons. They also called for demilitarizing Syrian schools and hospitals. Iraq, Egypt and Tunisia indicated that the protraction of the armed conflict in Syria was strengthening the role of jihadist groups. They added that the involvement of jihadists would disrupt the future of the people of Syria and the realization of their legitimate aspiration for democracy, freedom, social justice and peaceful co-existence. Sanctions on Syria The Russian Federation opposed the approach of sanctions towards Syria and supported the maintenance of normal interstate relations, including in the economic and commercial spheres as an important element of aid to the Syrian people. The Russian Federation stated that such sanctions have a negative impact on the people of Syria regardless of their political affiliations. 3

4 Regional impact Burden-sharing and a comprehensive regional approach Member States recognized the shift in the nature of the Syria humanitarian crisis into a protracted regional crisis that requires a comprehensive approach in dealing with it. Member States praised the generosity of Syria s neighbouring countries (Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt), firmly reflecting that they cannot and should not bear alone the burden of hosting the influx of Syrian refugees. An urgent call was made during the conference for all nations to offer support and share the burden with countries neighbouring Syria. Commitments were made to continue assistance to the stabilisation and development plans of the neighbouring countries, in addition to strengthening the resilience of the affected communities and reinforce the capacity of host countries to deliver basic services. Syria s neighbouring countries called for direct bilateral government support. Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt highlighted the challenges faced as a direct consequence of political problems and stressed the need for responsibility sharing. Turkey and Jordan explained the impact of the influx of refugees on trade, poverty, unemployment, public services, health, and education with an estimated cost of up to US$2.5 billion. The neighbouring countries pledged to continue supporting the Syrian people despite their limited resources and reiterated their commitment to an open-border policy. In this context, Sweden referred to the government s policy of receiving Syrian asylum seekers into Sweden and called upon other EU countries to do the same. General Violations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Member States condemned violations of human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL) committed by the parties to the conflict, demanding that parties to the conflict must be held accountable for their actions, and those responsible for crimes of war should be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Funding Member States are fully aware of the scale of the task at hand. They emphasized that success should be measured by the extent of assistance reaching the most vulnerable in besieged and hard to reach areas. The United States, the European Commission, and Germany added that money for Syria means little without peace. Member States noted that it would not be acceptable to meet again in 12 months under the same circumstance (US, EC, Germany, Ireland and Italy). Member States were reminded that only 81% of the funds pledged in 2013 has been committed though the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. All pledging donors were encouraged to swiftly convert their pledges into commitments so that aid agencies can scale up their operations and deliver the full measure of help the people of Syria urgently need. For more information, please visit the official conference website: Detailed information on humanitarian funding for the Syria crisis is available through the Financial Tracking Service (FTS) at: To track pledges announced in Kuwait II, please visit: 4

5 Pledges $2.3 billion were pledged by 40 donors (38 Member States, ECHO/EC and the international NGO consortium). This figure represents a 50% increase from last year s pledge. Among the 40 donors, there are seven Member States that did not pledge at the first conference (Oman, Qatar, Czech Republic, Estonia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Mexico). 30 Member States increased their conference pledges from the previous year. 2.3 billion pledged (US$) in Kuwait II 50% increase from billion pledged (US$) in Kuwait I 81% committed Of the $2.3 billion recorded pledges, the biggest amount, $500 million, came from Kuwait representing an increase of $200 million from last year. A day before the conference, a consortium of NGOs, civil 40 donors 43 donors society organizations, and private sector philanthropists pledged $207 million to help the Syrian people. The consortium is coordinated by the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) of Kuwait. The second biggest pledge of the Conference, $380 million was announced by the United States which was more than double its 2013 pledge. The European Commission increased its pledge from last year by announcing a pledge of $225 million. The UK announced a pledge of $164 million. EU Member States collectively pledged nearly $720 million. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE pledged $60 million each, for a total of $180 million. Donor US$ pledged Original currency amount Original currency unit Total: 2,262,695,523 Australia 8,912,656 10,000,000 AUD Belgium 7,558,480 5,479,898 EUR Botswana 50,000 - USD Brazil 300,000 - USD Bulgaria 137, ,000 EUR Croatia 206, ,000 EUR Czech Republic 1,379,310 1,000,000 EUR Denmark 37,000, ,000,000 DKK Estonia 551, ,000 EUR European Commission 225,000, ,000,000 EUR Finland 9,655,172 7,000,000 EUR France 27,586,207 20,000,000 EUR Germany 110,000,000 80,000,000 EUR Hungary 137, ,000 EUR India 2,000,000 - USD Iraq 13,000,000 - USD Ireland 16,551,724 12,000,000 EUR NGO Consortia 207,000,000 - USD Italy 51,300,000 38,000,000 EUR Japan 120,000,000 - USD Korea, Republic of 5,000,000 - USD Kuwait 500,000,000 - USD Luxembourg 6,896,552 5,000,000 EUR Malaysia 500,000 - USD Mexico 3,000,000 - USD 5

6 Netherlands 17,931,035 13,000,000 EUR New Zealand 4,095,004 5,000,000 NZD Norway 75,200, ,000,000 NOK Oman 10,000,000 - USD Poland 800,000 - USD Qatar 60,000,000 - USD Romania 100,000 - USD Saudi Arabia (Kingdom of) 60,000,000 - USD Slovakia 137, ,000 EUR Spain 7,586,207 5,500,000 EUR Sweden 35,298,629 25,591,506 EUR Switzerland 33,821,871 30,000,000 CHF United Kingdom 164,000, ,000,000 GBP United States of America 380,000,000 - USD United Arab Emirates 60,000,000 - USD 6

7 KUWAIT II 2014 PLEDGES FOR SYRIA BY DONOR IN MILLIONS OF US DOLLARS PLEDGED Botswana Romania Bulgaria Hungary Slovakia Croatia Brazil Malaysia Estonia Poland Czech Republic India Mexico New Zealand Republic of Korea Luxembourg Belgium Spain Australia Finland Oman Iraq Ireland Netherlands France Switzerland Sweden Denmark Italy Qatar Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Norway Germany Japan United Kingdom NGO Consortia European Commission United States of America Kuwait KUWAIT II PLEDGES BY BIGGEST DONORS SOURCE: FINANCIAL TRACKING SYSTEM, JAN Donors 797 Kuwait 500 Total Pledges: $2,262 Million United Kingdom 164 European Commission 225 United States of America 380 NGO Consortia 207 KUWAIT I PLEDGES BY BIGGEST DONORS as of 15 January 2014 SOURCE: FINANCIAL TRACKING SYSTEM, JAN Donors 690 Kuwait % committed United Kingdom 80 Total Pledges: $1,541 Million European Commission 133 United States of America 155 NGO Consortia 183

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