Canada

U.N. seeks billions more aid for Syrians beset by war and COVID-19

The U.N., which last year raised $7 billion, said this year it needs $3.8 billion for aid inside Syria where 11 million people require help and protection, with more than 9.3 million of them lacking adequate food.

Another $6.04 billion is sought to help the 6.6 million Syrians who have fled in the world’s biggest refugee crisis.

Adding to Syrians’ hardship, an economic slump and COVID-19 lockdown have pushed food prices more than 200% higher in less than a year, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).

However, rebuilding destroyed cities will take billions of dollars more and cannot start until powers involved back a peaceful transition away from the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, the EU says.

“We must do more to end the suffering of the Syrian people. First and foremost, we need a political solution to the crisis,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borell told the conference. (Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Giles Elgood and Andrew Cawthorne)

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