President Donald Trump not committing funding for the Syrian humanitarian crisis apparently left the United Nations millions short of their goal. According to Reuters, 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.
“A number of important donors have not yet been in a position to confirm their financing for 2018,” UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock stated during a news conference Wednesday, Reuters reported. “That includes the United States, which has been providing more than $1 billion a year to Syria and the region in recent years.”
The UN is also waiting for the Trump administration to decide what their Syria policy will be. However, Trump on several occasions has hinted that he is not planning to provide any aid.
One month ago the President ordered the State Department to freeze $200 million in funds that were planned to help recovery efforts. Trump also has given signals that he wants to remove U.S. troops from the country and to bring them home.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the White House is attempting to recruit Arab nations to commit funding as well as troops to eventually replace the American military presence in Syria.
Reuters reported that Achim Steiner who is the head of the UN Development Program said that “donor fatigue” is common during long multi-sided conflicts, which is 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, who is the largest donor besides the United States, is having difficulty to persuade member governments to agree on a second funding package worth $3.66 billion which will be meant for the refugees that are flooding into Turkey.
Turkish deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag called on the EU to do more and to help their government which has been faced with waves of immigration since 2015.