Germany Pledges €2.3 Billion for Syria Humanitarian Aid

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday pledged 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion) in humanitarian aid for Syria through 2018, including 1.1 billion euros this year, as her country leads Europe’s response to a massive refugee influx, writes

The pledge was made at the opening of an international donors conference in London, where a UN-coordinated appeal by dozens of agencies is calling for $7.7 billion to respond to the humanitarian disaster in Syria, while regional governments are asking for $1.2 billion.

The UN and the charities are hopeful that funding goals will be reached and pledges actually delivered upon after several years in a row of funding shortfalls, as an unending wave of refugees fleeing more than five years of conflict in Syria literally wash up on Europe’s shores.

“We hope and expect to raise significant new funding,” said Jens Laerke, spokesman of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which assembled the UN-led appeal.

The United Kingdom pledged $1.75 billion (1.6 billion euros) in new aid by 2020, while the United States pledged $900 million (800 billion euros), bringing its total contribution to $5.1 billion (4.6 billion euros) in five years.