Kuwait Pledges $300 mn to Syrian Conflict

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SYRIA, KFAR OWAID : A young Syrian refugee boy helps his brother as they board a mini truck bound for neighboring Turkey, in the village of Kfar Owaid, in Idlib province on January 29, 2013. In the back of small trucks so crammed that children have to loll on adults' legs, refugees are fleeing war-broken Syria for what they fear will be a long period in camps in neighbouring countries. AFP PHOTO/AAMIR QURESHI
SYRIA, KFAR OWAID : A young Syrian refugee boy helps his brother as they board a mini truck bound for neighboring Turkey, in the village of Kfar Owaid, in Idlib province on January 29, 2013. In the back of small trucks so crammed that children have to loll on adults’ legs, refugees are fleeing war-broken Syria for what they fear will be a long period in camps in neighbouring countries. AFP PHOTO/AAMIR QURESHI

Kuwait Wednesday kicked off an international donors conference for civilians caught up in the Syrian conflict with a pledge of $300 million, as UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned of a “catastrophic” situation.

“Due to the great sufferings of the Syrian people and to help ensure the success of the conference, I announce the Kuwaiti donation of $300 million for the Syrian people,” Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah said as he opened the one-day conference in Kuwait City.

Also addressing the International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, Ban called for urgent financial aid, warning that if funds were not forthcoming “more Syrians will die.”

“The situation in Syria is catastrophic,” the UN chief said as he urged all parties to the conflict to “stop the killings”.

The United Nations says that more than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria’s 22-month conflict, which erupted in March 2011 with peaceful protests but morphed into an armed insurgency after a harsh regime crackdown.

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