Syria: Berlin promises to 1.44 billion euros at donors ‘ conference

Syrie: Berlin promet 1,44 milliard d'euros à la conférence des donateurs

Germany announced on Thursday a contribution of 1.44 billion euros for the syrian refugees, and the EU will unlock 2 billion, have announced their representatives at the ministerial meeting of the conference of donors in Brussels.

“We are committed to providing a contribution of 1.44 billion euros. This makes us the second largest donor,” explained the minister of Development Gerd Muller on his arrival at this conference organised by the EU and the UN.

The european Union will for its part “to allocate 2 billion euros from the common budget”, announced the spokesperson of the european Commission Margaritis Schinas.

The United Kingdom has promised 400 million pounds (464 million euros) and Austria 9 million.

The united Nations has estimated the financial needs for 2019 at $ 5.5 billion (4.4 billion euros) to assist about 5.6 million Syrian refugees outside their countries (Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt) and to $ 3.3 billion (2.9 billion euros) to the displaced populations inside the country.

The total commitments will be announced at 18: 00 (17H00 GMT), at the end of the ministerial meeting co-chaired by the head of european diplomacy Federica Mogherini, co-chair of the meeting with the deputy secretary general of the UN Mark Lowcock.

“We expect financial support generous. Without money, the humanitarian activities will be disrupted”, said Mr Lowcock.

The contributions had been below the expectations at the conference in 2018. “We had asked for $ 9 billion, the promises have amounted to $ 6 billion,” explained the representative of the united Nations.

The Conference should not only be a fund-raiser, insisted Ms. Mogherini : “Syria must remain a top priority for the international community”. “The money mobilised by the european Union for the reconstruction will be disbursed only if a peace process to be credible begins in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations”, she warned.

“It is necessary that the syrian regime is at the table in Geneva,” said the head of diplomacy of the belgian Didier Reynders.

Belgium and several other EU countries –France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the netherlands and Denmark– have added another condition: the fight against impunity for the crimes committed in Syria. Their representatives met to develop a statement to be attached to the conclusions of the Conference.

“The war is not over in Syria,” said Didier Reynders. The representative of the UN echoed : “A military offensive of great magnitude against Idleb would provoke a humanitarian catastrophe”.

The city of Idleb, in the north-west of the country, is controlled by the jihadists of Hayat al-Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an organization formed by the ex-branch of the syrian Al-Qaeda, and represents the last bastion in Syria hostile to the regime in Damascus.