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U.N. Calls For Additional Funding For Humanitarian Response In Syria

“As fighting continues in Syria’s civil war, the United Nations has said that it will be forced to cut already reduced food rations to hundreds of thousands of refugees unless a huge cash injection is found,” Al Jazeera reports. “About four million Syrians rely on international assistance to cope with fallout from the 22-month old conflict in which the U.N. estimates more than 60,000 people have died,” the news service writes (1/28). Speaking ahead of a humanitarian pledging conference that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will chair in Kuwait on Wednesday, John Ging, director of operations for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), “cited a funding shortfall that is affecting the ability of the U.N. and its partners to deliver vital assistance, including food, water and medical supplies,” the U.N. News Centre writes (1/28).

Ban “will seek more than $1.5 billion in new cash pledges” at the donor’s conference, according to Al Jazeera. “About $500 million is needed for operations in Syria and the rest for more than 650,000 refugees in countries around Syria,” the news service notes (1/28). In his remarks at the World Economic Forum on Thursday, Ban “call[ed] for global solidarity to end the violence in both [Syria and Mali] and aid to those that need it,” Devex notes (Villarino, 1/28).