World Leaders Pledge Billions in Aid for Syrians

World Leaders Pledge Billions in Aid for SyriansWorld Leaders Pledge Billions in Aid for Syrians

A one-day conference held in London has raised billions of dollars for Syrians impacted by the ongoing war. The event came as world leaders find themselves at odds over how to end the conflict.

The European Union, the United States, Germany and Britain were among the countries that pledged to donate more than $11 billion (€10 million) to victims of the war in Syria on Thursday, just a day after peace talks intended to end the conflict came to a halt in Geneva, Deutsche Welle reported.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the pledge the largest donation for a humanitarian crisis ever raised in a single day.

“Today’s achievements are not a solution to the crisis; we still need to see a political transition,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said as the conference came to an end.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu emphasized their support for helping people in the war-torn region.

Merkel pledged €2.3 billion in aid by 2018, saying that one reason for the donation was to help stem the flow of those impacted by the war from coming to Germany.

She also thanked Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan for doing much of the heavy lifting when it came to the refugee crisis. At a press conference after the event, the chancellor told reporters that the EU would work to improve trade relations with those countries, as well as others accepting refugees from the Middle East.

Other countries that pledged donations include France, Norway, Italy, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Despite the enormous sum promised in response to the crisis, a feeling of frustration hung over the proceedings. Syrian peace talks ended abruptly on Wednesday with UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura saying “there is more work to be done”.