UAE - Solidarity with the Syrians

While a donor conference held in Kuwait is counting the money pledged to face the crisis in war-torn Syria, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have launched a solidarity campaign to bring local students to refugee camps to see the consequences of the humanitarian crisis.

Twelve students, six boys and six girls, attending the first two years of high school will travel on January 29 to Syrian refugee camps in Jordan where they will help distribute blankets, mattresses, clothing, food and stoves.

'We want youths to experiment first-hand this reality' said Marwan Al Sawaleh, education under secretary who coordinated the initiative with the UAE Red Crescent.

'The culture of giving comes from sheikh Zayed Al Nayah (founder of the UAE) and this is why we have started an awareness campaign on the problems of Syrian refugees in all schools' added the head of the local Red Crescent Mohammad al Fahim.

The campaign 'our hearts with the people of Syria' was first announced by UAE president, sheikh Khalifa Al Nahyan.

Aid pledged at the international donor conference held for the second consecutive year in Kuwait doesn't even come close to half the amount indicated by UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon as urgently necessary to tackle the humanitarian crisis weighing on Syrians inside and outside the country.

Estimates indicated by the secretary general said 6.5 billion dollars were necessary for the 2.3 million refugees outside Syria and for over 6.5 million displaced.

Gulf oil monarchies played the lion's share pledging a total of 870 million dollars.

Kuwait announced it was pledging 500 million at the start of the conference, well over the US offer of 380 million.

Saudi Arabia had initially planned to give 60 million dollars but raised to sum to 250 million later at night, saily Saudi Gazzette reports.

Finance minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf was quoted by the paper as saying the Saudi Kingdom would be pledging with this installment a total of 448 million dollars to Syria.

Qatar and the UAE pledged 60 million dollars each. The emirates contribution to the Syrian crisis thus totaled 360 million dollars.




Source: ANSAmed