The capital of Britain, London is set to host world leaders who will come together to try to raise $9 for the millions of Syrians hit by the country’s conflict and a refugee crisis spanning Europe and the Middle East.
The donor conference, the fourth of its kind is slated for Thursday. It hopes to meet the UN’s demand for $7.73 billion to help in Syria plus $1.23 billion assistance for countries in the region affected by the crisis.
More than 70 international leaders are expected to take part in the summit including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Jordan has accommodated more than 630,000 Syrian refugees and Abdullah warned earlier that his debt-riddled country needed help to ease the burden or Europe would face the consequences.
The Syrian war, which began in March 2011, has claimed more than 260,000 lives and caused a major humanitarian crisis.
The conflict has forced 4.6 million Syrians to seek refuge in countries in the region – Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands have attempted to reach Europe, sometimes paying with their lives while making the risky Mediterranean Sea crossing.
“We need to agree concrete action,” Cameron said, calling for the provision of jobs and education in countries neighboring Syria as the living conditions of refugees deteriorate by the day.
“This is not just in the interests of Syria and her neighbors. It is in the interests of Europe too. The more we do to enable people to stay in the region, the less likely we are to see them coming to Europe,” he said.