The 12th meeting of the Group of Senior Donors to Syria kicked off in the Lebanese capital with Kuwait’s participation on Wednesday.

UN Secretary-General’s Humanitarian Envoy Ambassador Ahmad Al-Marrikhi indicated in the inauguration statement that the conferees would re-examine humanitarian conditions of the Syrian people, namely the relocated and refugees.

Some of the participating delegations have visited Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon and have held talks with local municipal chairmen about needs of the Lebanese communities hosting the refugees, as well.

He lauded Syria’s neighboring countries, namely Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq for continuing to aid 5.4 million refugees.

Al-Marrikhi urged the donor countries to exercise political pressure on the Syrian government to respect international humanitarian laws and penalize those who abuse human rights in Syria. “Any financial sum or humanitarian assistance or protection cannot replace the political settlement,” he stressed.

Rashid Khalikov, Assistant UN Secretary-General for Humanitarian Partnerships with the Middle East and Central Asia, said the UN is seeking to raise USD 3.5 billion to secure needs of 13 million Syrians inside their country. He also urged for helping the neighboring countries that host the refugees.

Philippe Lazzarini, Deputy UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL), said Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, as compared to the small size of population, in addition multiple security, medical and development problems.

Lazzarini called for response to the humanitarian needs in Lebanon with 76 of the refugee families below poverty line.

He underscored necessity to link up the humanitarian aid to the refugees with the country’s peace and stability indicating at cooperation between the international organization and the Lebanese Government to maintain stability in Lebanon.

The states participating in the conference include Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Canada, the Denmark, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway as well as the EU.

The Kuwaiti delegation is headed by the assistant foreign minister for international organizations affairs, Ziad Al-Meshaan, the advisor at the foreign ministry’s international organizations department, Abdulrahman Al-Se’eed, and the diplomatic attache at the Arab Homeland Affairs Department, Wafeeqa Al-Mulla.

Today’s session was attended by the second secretary at the Kuwaiti Embassy, Fawaz Al-Qahtani.

The donors conference is organized by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Beirut.

It involves Al-Marrikhi, Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs Pierre Bou Assi, Minister of State for Displaced Affairs Mouin Merehbi and delegations from several Arab and international donor countries.

Source: NAM News Network