The European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides announced on Wednesday (April 5) that an EU-brokered conference on the future of Syria had raised $6 billion in aid.
The sum does not reach the United Nations $8 billion appeal for Syria this year to deal with one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises and does not include the cost of rebuilding the war-torn country, which EU officials said was incalculable.
Most of the donations made in Brussels came from European countries. The EU pledged 560 million euros from its budget in order to conduct humanitarian projects in Syria, as well as support refugees in neighboring Lebanon and Jordan.
Germany separately promised 1.2 billion euros more for 2017, while the UK offered an additional one billion pounds. EU states and Brussels have so far mobilized about 9.5 billion euros in emergency humanitarian aid for Syria.
But Brussels says the bloc will not pay for reconstruction if Damascus and its allies wipe out Syria’s opposition and moderate rebels, recapturing full control of the country but denying its various ethnic and religious groups a political say.
The conference, however, offered no new ideas on how to end the war, with regional power Turkey absent from the gathering and the foreign ministers of Russia and the United States skipping the event and sending low-level officials.
The Brussels conference comes as Syria’s civil war enters its seventh year, raging on in large part due to the inability of regional and global powers to agree on how to end it.