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DOHA MEETING: HUMANITARIAN ORGANISATIONS PLEDGE US$262 MILLION FOR SYRIA

DOHA, Qatar, Apr 3 (NNN-QNA) - Humanitarian Organisations, on Sunday, pledged about US$262 million worth of humanitarian aid to Syria, over the next two years, in a meeting here.

They made the commitment at the Consultative Meeting of Humanitarian Organisations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Syria's neighbouring countries.

The final Communique, issued at the end of the meeting stated that, 40 participants, representing 25 humanitarian organisations, from countries in the region, attended the meeting, at the invitation of Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Muraikhi, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General's Humanitarian Envoy.

The meeting was held in coordination with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UN Refugee Agency.

It was held in preparation for the upcoming "Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region" due on Apr 4-5.

Participants agreed that the Brussels Conference will be held at a critical phase of the Syrian crisis, in light of serious developments marked by accelerated military operations and new events on the ground.

The Communique condemned the extensive destruction of assets and property, on which the population relies for survival, as an example of flagrant violation of humanitarian norms and international humanitarian law.

The communique expressed concern over the difficult choices that victims of the crisis have to endure, including fleeing to neighbouring countries or seeking asylum in other countries, which have contributed to fundamental changes in the population structure, compared with the situation before the crisis.

The Communique warned of grave humanitarian consequences of these demographic changes, not only on the near and intermediate terms, but also at the long term, if they are enshrined a de facto situation.

The Communique praised the humanitarian efforts carried out by humanitarian organisations from the Arab region, especially from the Gulf region and Syria's neighbouring countries.

It highly appreciated the role being played by Al Muraikhi, the UN agencies and partners in the Syrian arena.

Participants recommended a comprehensive review of the humanitarian response efforts in Syria, in order to draw the most important lessons from the Syrian refugee crisis, seen as the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.

They urged an immediate response to the medium- and long-term future needs, based on principles of aid effectiveness and effective use of resources.

They also called for the adoption of a shared vision, which gives priority to enhancing capabilities of the Syrian people to face this humanitarian crisis and support humanitarian initiatives aimed at promoting self-sufficiency of the Syrian society.

They expressed concern over the systematic demographic change in some areas, "predicting a long-term humanitarian disaster" and called for a halt to systematic displacement of the Syrian people, as well as, support for refugees and displaced persons to return, when displacement ends.

The Communique also called upon all parties, especially the government, to exert more efforts to prevent the politicisation of humanitarian action in Syria, facilitate access to beneficiaries in safe conditions and remove all

obstacles to financial transfers.-- NNN-QNA

Source: NAM News Network