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As the civil war in Syria rages, the international community is working hard to provide the aid and resources needed to help struggling refugees inside and outside the nation. Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring countries Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq, and the cost of aid keeps rising.

Recently, a donors’ conference held in Kuwait decided to raise and contribute a goal of $1.5 billion USD in foreign aid on January 31. This amount far exceeds the UN’s expected goal. Among the largest donors included conference host country Kuwait. Also, Gulf nations Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the United States and the United Kingdom donated most in the fundraising efforts. Additional donors include EU member states, Morocco, Iraq, and others totaling to over 40 countries.

The aid monies will be distributed amongst two UN-led initiatives, the Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan and the Regional Response Plan. These plans will aid in the collection and distribution of food, medical services and temporary shelters, and maintenance of refugee camps outside of Syria.

With over two million total displaced people, most serious needs include basic necessities like food, shelter, and education. As the amount of refugees increases, the UN has released that over half of those individuals are children. NGO bodies like UNICEF and UNHCR are working hard to provide students with educational opportunities. The US has increased its efforts in the regions as well.

As of February 6, President Obama pledged an addition $155 million, bringing US aid totals to $365 million. Poverty in this country is growing with the ongoing conflict, but US and global funds and other methods of aid continue to pour into this region as the war persists.

Kristyn Greco

Sources: PBS, Euronews, UNICEF USA, Irin News
Photo: Washington Post