Britain to host donor conference for Syria refugees in 2016
Britain and Germany said Monday they will co-host along with two other states a major donor conference in early 2016 in London aiming to attract financial aid for the millions of Syrians who have fled their homes due to the civil war.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in the Turkish resort of Antalya that the meeting -- organised alongside Norway and Kuwait -- would take place on February 4 in London.
She said it would be aimed at rallying "humanitarian assistance" for the refugees and also "support for the countries that are hosting them".
Turkey is giving sanctuary to some 2.2 million refugees from the conflict in Syria, with alarm growing in Europe over the upsurge in the number of migrants seeking to move on to a new life in the EU.
Millions more are being hosted by Lebanon and Jordan as well as displaced within Syria itself.
The conference would also aim to help create the right conditions inside Syria, including in education, so the refugees can resume normal lives when they return home, said Merkel.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said at the G20 that the conference would have UN backing and aim "to raise significant new funding."
"But none of this is a substitute for the most urgent need of all, to find a political solution that brings peace to Syria and enables the millions of refugees to return home," he added.
World powers are seeking to find a political settlement to end the devastating conflict in Syria which shows no sign of abating since erupting in 2011 as a pro-democracy uprising and then snowballing into a civil war that led to the rise of Islamic State jihadists.
© 2015 AFP