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Syria: end of International Conference. €8 billion pledged over two years to rebuild the country

(Brussels) “Our goal remains the same: a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned political process, facilitated by the United Nations, to establish an inclusive and non-sectarian governance for a united Syria. This is what we are all trying to work for and this is also the main reason why we convened the Brussels Conference”. The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, said this at the end of the three-day conference (12-14 March). The primary goal remains to “relaunch the Geneva negotiations and put an end to the war in Syria”, because “freezing the conflict at its current stage is not a solution”, Mogherini said. Discussions in Brussels focused on humanitarian and resilience issues, Syrians who remained in the country, and refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Brussels mobilised pledges “totalling €8.3 billion”, of which 6.2 billion is for 2019 and 2.1 billion for 2020. Two-thirds of those funds come from the EU: 2.57 billion from the European Commission and 4.22 billion from EU Member States. “A whole generation that has no experience of what is ‘normal’ still needs us”, said Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn. European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Christos Stylianides said the EU will continue to “help the Syrian people for as long as it takes”: in Syria, to address “the humanitarian situation” which “remains a nightmare for millions of people”; and in neighbouring countries and Syrian refugee communities, so that they may “become more self-reliant” and “live in dignity and normality”.

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