UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon (L) and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Sabah (R) attend a press conference after the International humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria refugees in Kuwait City on Jan. 30, 2013. Donors on Wednesday pledged more than one billion dollars at the conference in Kuwait. (Xinhua/Noufal Ibrahim)
KUWAIT CITY, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The donor countries partaking in a conference in Kuwait pledged Wednesday to offer more than one billion U.S. dollars to support the Syrian people.
Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia each pledged to offer 300 million dollars to help the Syrian refugees and those within the country affected by nearly two years of conflict.
Addressing the inauguration session of the International humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria attended by UN chief Ban Ki-moon, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah pledged that his country will offer 300 million dollars for the Syrian people, the Kuwaiti state-run KUNA news agency reported.
The Kuwaiti leader called for coordinating the provision of relief supplies for Syrian people in and outside the country, the report said.
Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said at the conference that Saudi Arabia would contribute 300 million dollars to give a hand to Syrians affected by the 22-month conflict.
"The UAE decided to offer 300 million dollars for the Syrian people," KUNA quoted UAE Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as saying during the gathering.
Addressing the gathering, U.S. representatives at the conference and head of U.S. Agency for International Development ( USAID) Rajiv Salah said, "Yesterday, the president of the United States of America announced that the U.S. is providing an additional 155 million dollars in humanitarian assistance for the people of Syria and the others suffering from the violence."
"With this new 155 million dollar, the U.S. is now providing more than 365 million dollars in humanitarian assistance," KUNA quoted Salah as saying.
As many as 77 local, regional and international charity organizations took part in the UN-sponsored conference. They pledged on Tuesday to pay 182 million dollars during a meeting hosted by the International Charitable Organization of Kuwait.
DAMASCUS, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The leader of Syria's main opposition coalition in exile, Moaz al-Khatib, said Wednesday that he is ready to hold talks with representatives of the Syrian administration in a bid to "curb the bloodshed of Syrians" and to prepare for a transitional period for the conflict-ravaged country.
Al-Khatib's surprising remarks were cited from his Facebook page, in which he said he is "prepared to sit down directly with representatives of the Syrian regime in Cairo, Tunis or Istanbul." Full story
DAMASCUS, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The worldwide economic sanctions on Syria have overburdened the sluggish Syrian economy, caused losses worth around 48.4 billion U.S. dollars and impoverished additional 900,000 Syrians, a recent report said.
The report, issued by the "Syrian Center for Policy Research," revealed that the Syrian people are bearing the bulk of Western sanctions on Syria. Full story