Monday, 30 September 2013

Syria neighbours to plead for help

Source BBC News@

Kawergost refugee camp in Irbil, Iraq, 22 September 2013Countries bordering Syria have seen vast numbers of refugee arrivals

Syria's neighbours are expected to ask donors for support in dealing with the ongoing refugee crisis at a meeting in Geneva.

Foreign ministers from Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq will present reports at the meeting, hosted by the UN.

More than two million Syrians have fled their country, and many more have been displaced internally.

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he would comply with a plan to rid his country of chemical weapons.

"Of course we have to comply. This is our history, we have to comply with every treaty we sign,'' he told Italy's RAI News 24.

On Friday, the UN Security Council passed a binding resolution to eliminate Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons by mid-2014.

Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is tasked with implementing the plan, are expected to leave for Syria shortly.

A separate team of inspectors, from the UN, has been investigating allegations of chemical weapons attacks and was hoping to finish its work in Syria on Monday.

Struggling to cope

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has been warning that the number of Syrian refugees is threatening the political and social cohesion of the whole region.

Lebanon does not have the money, housing, schools or hospitals to cope, while Jordan and Turkey, with some 500,000 refugees each, are believed to have spent at least $2bn (£1.25bn) caring for them, the BBC's Imogen Foulkes reports from Geneva.

In an attempt to prevent Syria's neighbours closing their borders, traditional donors will be asked on Monday for financial support and offers to host some of the most vulnerable refugees, she says.

Where Syrian refugees are

  • 716,000 in Lebanon

  • 515,000 in Jordan

  • 460,000 in Turkey

  • 169,000 in Iraq

  • 111,000 in Egypt

  • 4.25 million others displaced inside Syria

( Source UNHCR)

UNHCR spokesman Peter Kessler said the agency would appeal "for more support for the host countries including direct budget support but also of course aid in areas like provision of health care, education, infrastructure and other projects".

"For many of these countries such as for small Lebanon and Jordan, the influx of Syrian refugees represents a huge proportion of those countries' current population," he told the BBC.

Unrest in Syria began in March 2011, developing into a conflict in which more than 100,000 people are estimated to have been killed.

The UN inspectors have been investigating an attack on 21 August in Damascus that left hundreds dead and triggered a threat of international military action against Mr Assad's forces.

Đăng ký: Tieng Anh Vui


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