World leaders promise billions in Syrian refugee aid

World leaders have pledged billions of pounds in aid for refugees affected by the Syrian civil war at a conference in London.

David Cameron has promised to double UK aid to support refugees fleeing Syria. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Secretary of State John Kerry have also pledged more money.

The United Nations is asking for around £5.5 billion this year to cope with the humanitarian disaster caused by the Syrian civil war.

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Syria aid conference asks world to dig deep for refugees

The world was asked to dig deep to offer financial help and hope to the 18 million people displaced both inside and outside Syria due to civil war at a conference in London today.

By the end of the day, £7bn had been pledged, surpassing the £5.4bn target, said by the UN to be the biggest amount raised in a day for a single cause.

The priority has been to not just come up with the funds to feed and house refugees but to help the economies of neighbouring countries hosting the majority of them.

ITV News International Affairs Editor, Rageh Omaar reports:


Saudi Arabia 'ready to back US-led coalition with ground troops' in Syria

Members of Saudi special forces aim their guns during a training session Credit: Reuters

Saudi Arabia is ready to back the US-led coalition in Syria with ground troops, a Saudi military spokesman told Reuters.

"The kingdom is ready to participate in any ground operations that the coalition (against Islamic State) may agree to carry out in Syria," Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri told the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV.

Merkel: EU could give trade preferences for countries hosting Syrians

Angela Merkel said that trade preferences could possibly be put in place for Syria's neighbouring countries Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.

The European Union will do "whatever it can" to improve trade and export conditions for countries bearing the brunt of Syria's refugee crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

At the end of the Supporting Syria and the Region conference, Merkel said that trade preferences could be put in place for neighbouring countries who host the vast majority of the 4 million refugees escaping from the civil war.

She made the announcement after Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, agreed at the conference to take measures to give the new arrivals access to education and the labour market.

The EU will do everything to improve the export conditions of these countries, that includes looking into trade preferences.

– German Chancellor, Angela Merkel

Turkey PM: 'Starvation siege is being inflicted on Syria'

Residents look for survivors after what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo. Credit: Reuters

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that those helping to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are committing war crimes and "inflicting a starvation siege" on civilians.

He said that the Syrian army, backed by foreign forces and Russian air strikes, intend to inflict a starvation siege on Aleppo.

The root cause of this problem is the war crimes committed by the Syrian regime, and the war crimes committed by Daesh, by ISIS.

Those who are helping the Assad regime are committing the same war crimes. I am especially telling this today because Aleppo is under heavy attack by Russian airplanes.

– Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu

But the Prime Minister insisted that whatever the cost, Turkey's door will be open to all Syrians fleeing the conflict.


PM: Conference has secured over $10bn for Syria

David Cameron said that the international community has raised over $10bn (£6.8bn) for Syria aid.

Prime Minister David Cameron said that the Supporting Syrian and the region has raised well over $10bn (£7.5bn) for the civil war stricken country.

Cameron said that $6bn (£4.1bn) has been secured for Syria this year alone and a further $5bn (£3.4) has been pledged until 2020.

He added the funds would "save lives, will give hope, will give people the chance of a future", adding: "That, I think, is a good and vital day's work."

Countries neighbouring Syria have also agreed to educate refugee children to ensure there is no "lost generation", Cameron said.

UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon said: "Never has the international community raised so much money on a single day for a single crisis."

European Union pledges 2.4bn euros in Syrian aid

EU's Federica Mogherini said that money alone will not solve the crisis. Credit: APTN

The European Union has pledged 2.4 billion euros (£1.84bn), more than twice its previous pledge, to help the millions of Syrians displaced by civil war.

The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini said that the funds came out of the budget alone and is added to national contributions.

But she added that money alone is not the solution, adding: "If you don't have access and a political horizon, we will meet here again next year with more money and no solution."

I believe that if we are here today, we share a duty and a responsibility... to focus on the people of Syria.

The EU as the major donor for Syria and as a major political and diplomatic player in the region feels this sense of urgency. Let me say we expect this sense of urgency is shared by all in the region and international community.

– EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini

Turkish PM: 60-70,000 more refugees leaving Syria

Turkey's PM, Ahmet Davutoglu told the conference that hundreds and thousands of people from Syria are ready to move into his country. Credit: Reuters

Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu told the conference for Syria that he expects thousands more refugees to cross the border into his country.

Turkey is already hosting more than 2.5 million refugees but up to 70,000 more were on the move towards the country to escape aerial bombardments on Aleppo, he said.

And he said that hundreds of thousands more will come from Syria as the civil war continues.

Sixty to seventy thousand people in the camps in north Aleppo are moving towards Turkey. My mind is not now in London, but on our border - how to relocate these new people coming from Syria?

Three hundred thousand people living in Aleppo are ready to move towards Turkey.

– Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu
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