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Friday, April 16, 2021

Qatar pledges another $100 million in humanitarian aid to Syria

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Qatar adds to some $2 billion in humanitarian aid that has been donated to Syrians since the start of the 2011 crisis.

Qatar said it will continue supporting international efforts to reach a lasting political solution to end the Syrian crisis, announcing a $100 million pledge to help alleviate humanitarian concerns.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani announced the move at the “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” conference in Brussels on Tuesday.

“Based on the firm belief in the right of the brotherly Syrian people to have a decent living, Qatar has been keen since the beginning of the crisis, to provide humanitarian and material support to Syrian people,” Sheikh Mohamed said, noting that the dire humanitarian circumstances will only improve with a political solution to the crisis.

Since 2011, Qatar’s humanitarian aid to the Syrian crisis has exceeded $2 billion. This is the estimated total of government aid, donations through civil society organisations, humanitarian and charitable societies, in addition to the Qatari donor institutions. 

The conference comes amid efforts to continue to help mobilise the international community to reach a comprehensive and credible political solution to the conflict, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

A total of $6.4 billion was pledged by international donors at the conference in Europe, falling short of the $10 billion goal to help Syrians suffering after a decade of war.

The event, hosted by the European Union, aimed to raise $4.2 billion for Syrians displaced inside the war-stricken country and a further $5.8 billion for refugees and their hosts across the region.

In recent years, Qatar has ramped up calls for a political resolution to the ongoing conflict and has in recent weeks stepped in to play a substantial role in trilateral peace efforts with Turkey and Russia.

In a statement just days after the announcement, Qatar’s Assistant Foreign Minister and Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lolwah Al-Khater doubled down on calls for a political solution in Syria to ensure sovereignty and stability.

Doha has also been particularly focused on prioritising the return of refugees within the framework of the Geneva Convention.

Read also: Turkey, Russia, Qatar push for political resolution in war-torn Syria

“It is no secret that the humanitarian situation is worsening in Syria and its negative effects worsen year after year while the Syrian regime continues its violations of human rights and its perpetration of atrocities that amount to war crimes, as well as its obstruction of the path towards a political solution,” Sheikh Mohammed noted.

The Qatari official also pointed to the urgent need to supply Syria with vaccines to help protect its people amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“I hope that this conference will achieve its desired goals in the interest of the brotherly Syrian people,” he continued. 


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