Syria donors fall short without U.S. aid, warn of cruel end-game

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Addressing the third panel discussion on the humanitarian aspect of the second Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, he said that there are many issues related to this crisis, the most important of which are the protection of civilians and the way this war has been conducted.

In Brussels began work under the auspices of the United Nations and the European Union worldwide conference, the objective of which is to raise funds to help Syrian refugees.

The head of the United Nations aid agency UNOCHA called the $4.4 billion "a good start" but a group of nine worldwide aid organizations said the conference "did not go almost far enough".

The UN had said it was aiming for a total of $3.6bn for a humanitarian response plan for those in need inside Syria, of which $800m (23%) had been pledged before the conference.

The participants pledged new aid measures and raised 4.4 billion dollars.

"The pledges announced today are a good start,"Lowcock said".

With fighting still raging, and the northern rebel-held province of Idlib in danger of fast becoming a new crisis zone, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called on Russia, Iran and Turkey to use their influence in Damascus, saying they have a "special responsibility" to establish a cease-fire and to press Syrian President Bashar Assad to return to the negotiating table.

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More than 6.1 million people are now internally displaced in Syria, more than 5.6 millionhave fled the country and 13 million including six million children are in need of aid, according to the UN. More than 700,000 people have been displaced since the start of this year alone.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the opening session Prime Minister Saad Hariri warned that any delay in reaching a political solution to the Syrian crisis was harmful to Lebanon as well as refugees.

The Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri, who is facing elections in two weeks, said: "The bitter truth is conditions have deteriorated for refugees since a year ago", adding "Lebanon remains a big refugee camp".

The UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, fresh from talks in Moscow at the weekend, also briefed the conference saying the recent western attacks on Syrian chemical weapons sites had been a wake-up call prompting high-level diplomatic discussions.

In addition to its humanitarian objectives, the Conference was aimed at obtaining political support for the peace process piloted from Geneva by the United Nations but now at a standstill.

The State of Kuwait today reiterated its full support to United Nations efforts to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria and called for an immediate end to the fighting, Kuwait news agency (KUNA) reported.

"We have let Syrian children down".

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