Trump cuts to foreign funding leaves humanitarian aid for Syria short: report
President Trump’s failure to commit funding for the Syrian humanitarian crisis reportedly leaves the United Nations millions short of its goal for aid.
More than 80 international donors and groups have raised $4.4 billion for Syria this year but remain short of the $6 billion gathered in 2017, Reuters reported Wednesday.
“A number of important donors have not yet been in a position to confirm their financing for 2018,” U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said at a news conference Wednesday, according to the news service. “That includes the United States, which has been providing more than $1 billion a year to Syria and the region in recent years.”
The U.N. is waiting for the Trump administration to determine its Syria policy, although Trump has often signaled a shift away from the aid, Reuters reported.
Last month, Trump ordered the State Department to freeze $200 million in funds to help recovery efforts.
He has also signaled a desire to remove U.S. troops from the country amid a civil war.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration is trying to recruit Arab nations to commit funding and troops to eventually replace the American military presence in Syria.
Achim Steiner, head of the U.N. Development Program, said that “donor fatigue” is common during lengthy multisided conflicts, Reuters reported, complicating the problem.
“It is a natural phenomenon as the conflict continues year after year,” Steiner said. “In 2018, the humanitarian drama … is actually at its peak.”
The European Union — the largest donor besides the United States — is struggling to get member governments to agree on a second funding package worth $3.66 billion for refugees flooding into Turkey.
Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Recep Akdağ, called on the EU to do more for their government, which has been dealing with the influx of refugees and migrants since 2015, Reuters reported Wednesday.