Sheikh Sabah (R) walks with King Abdullah
of Jordan at the conference.
End Syria war 'in the name of humanity', pleads Ban
Kuwait, January 30, 2013
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed on Wednesday to all combatants in Syria's civil war to stop fighting "in the name of humanity".
Speaking at an aid donor conference in Kuwait, Ban said: "I appeal to all sides and particularly the Syrian government, to stop the killing ... in the name of humanity, stop the killing, stop the violence."
More than 60,000 people have been killed since the 22-month-old conflict began, the United Nations says.
The Kuwait gathering is seeking pledges of further funding for humanitarian efforts in Syria.
The world body warned on Monday that without more money it would not be able to help millions of Syrians and appealed for donations at the aid conference to meet its $1.5 billion target.
Some four million Syrians inside the country need food, shelter and other aid and more than 700,000 more have escaped to neighbouring countries since the conflict began, according to the U.N. Half of the civilians affected by the crisis are children, the UN says.
Meanwhile, Kuwait's emir pledged to give $300 million to help fund humanitarian efforts for millions of Syrians.
Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah told a meeting targeting potential donors that "horrifying reports" of violence had raised questions over the future of Syria and aid efforts had to be redoubled.
Wednesday's conference will seek pledges of $1 billion of aid for Syria's neighbours, who are sheltering 700,000 registered refugees, and another $500 million to bankroll humanitarian work for 4 million Syrians inside the country.
The aid would fund operations for the first half of this year, but the UN has so far received pledges covering just 18 percent of the target, unveiled last month as the scale of Syria's humanitarian crisis escalated sharply.
"We have every reason to be optimistic that there will a very good presence and new pledges that will be coming up at this conference," Robert Watkins, UN humanitarian coordinator in Lebanon, told Reuters.
Lebanon has seen the biggest influx of refugees from the Syrian bloodshed.
US President Barack Obama has announced an additional $155 million in humanitarian aid for Syria, bringing the total US contribution to some $365 million, the State Department said. - Reuters