UK Prime Minister Calls on Donations to Alleviate Plight of Syrian Refugees

UK Prime Minister Calls on Donations to Alleviate Plight of Syrian Refugees
Thu Feb 4, 2016 21:25:10

British Prime Minister David Cameron has called on the international community to show generosity in helping Syrian refugees.

Speaking ahead of the London donor conference, Cameron said the world community must raise billions of dollars in aid to help Syrians who have been suffering in refugee camps in neighboring countries.

“Sufficient funding to guarantee the basics of life that these refugees need must be the bare minimum expected of us,” he writes in the Guardian, calling for “a new approach to humanitarian aid in the region”.

Cameron also said that the extra funding pledges should ensure that a million more children will be given an education, requiring Lebanon to double the number of Syrians in school. “A generation of refugees left out of school means a generation of young adults not only unable to get work but also more vulnerable to extremism and radicalization”.

Britain, already the second-largest bilateral donor in Syria behind the US, has also announced it would double its own funding to Syria to £2.3bn up to 2020.

70 world leaders including the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif are attending the donor conference in London.

“The Syria crisis not just the worst but part of humanitarian crisis which is unfolding because of their past colonial policies and the American hegemony working and undermining the free movement of people and their expression in terms of their own idea of what represent them –secular idea, economic idea, religious idea and their political idea with regard to democracy. This absolutely hypocritical for nations that while they are bombing ISIL and its affiliates; a lot of money has come to the terrorist group from the US” Clive Hambidge, Director of Human Development, Facilitate Global told Press TV.

In the face of the ongoing turmoil, $4.5bn was raised in the whole of last year for Syrians. The UN has already said that it is short of $9bn it deems necessary this year to improve schooling, access to work and help Syrians survive.

“It is clear that the countries surrounding Syria are now overwhelmed by refugees for instance Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. David Cameron has pledged to take 20,000 Syrians from refugee camps in neighboring countries in over five years period. Cameron has particularly been hypocritical and he has already faced criticism after he insisted that Britain should not take any further refugee from the war-torn Middle East” Hambidge said. 

Lebanon, a country of 4 million people, hosts more than a million registered Syrian refugees, according to United Nations figures.

Cameron, who faced criticism for not taking more Syrian refugees in the UK, says he has been working with world leaders including the US president to extract bigger donations and prevent a repetition of the UN shortfall that led to cuts in food aid last year.

Britain has already allowed some 1,000 refugees out of 20,000 it pledged from Syria by 2020.  Apart from Britain’s pledge and monetary help of about £10m for vulnerable refugee minors, Cameron has also come under pressure from opposition lawmakers and those from within his own party, to do more, Press TV reported.

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