For Immediate Release
March 31, 2015
Washington, DC – SAMS thanks the U.S. government for its generous pledge of $507 million at the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait. The U.S. was the single largest donor at the conference.
Ambassador Samantha Power attended the conference in Kuwait on behalf of the U.S. Inher remarks, she focused on the important work of medical personnel in Syria, referring to Syrian doctors and nurses as “our true partners in Syria.” She described the experiences of SAMS-affiliated Dr. Abdel in her remarks, saying:
“In another hospital in Aleppo, a small boy named Marwan was laid out on an operating table in a basement. A barrel bomb dropped by the regime had killed his mother and sister, and taken his legs. Suddenly, the electricity went out and the room went dark. A nurse pulled out her cellphone, directing its light on Marwan’s wounds; other nurses followed. And the surgeon continued to operate by the light of cellphones…. By the light of cellphones, the doctor finished the operation and saved Marwan’s life. The first thing Marwan asked on coming out of surgery was –
“Will I be able to go to school anymore?”….
Marwan survived because their doctors and nurses refused to give up on them; because they believed their lives were worth fighting to save. In spite of such efforts, far too many Syrians have not survived, and millions more have endured cruelty and suffering that no one should be asked to bear. Yet there is no more powerful rebuke to the Assad regime’s disregard for human life than the actions of Syrians like those doctors and nurses…
They are the people who most need immediate assistance and upon whose behalf we must press, relentlessly and with immense urgency, to find a political solution – no matter how elusive it may seem at times… And while today they are doing all they can to keep Syria breathing, they cannot do it alone.”
At the Kuwait Conference, a total of $3.8 billion was raised – less than half of the $8.4 billion that was requested for this year to cope with the ever growing crisis. In addition to the U.S. pledge, Kuwait pledged a $500 million, and EU member states pledged close to $1.2 billion, double the overall EU pledge at last year’s conference.
SAMS thanks the generous international donors, and reiterates that all members of the donor community have a responsibility to contribute to the critical humanitarian response and increase their funding to match the scale of the growing crisis. SAMS calls on donor countries to ensure that all funds pledged are delivered in full, and that special attention is placed on fulfilling the urgent medical needs of civilians, particularly as aerial and chemical attacks against civilians increase in northwestern Syria.