David Cameron orders £52million extra aid to Syria to send t Sept 6, 2013 15:01:33 GMT
Post by Focus on Sept 6, 2013 15:01:33 GMT
DAVID CAMERON has announced an additional £52 million is to be sent to Syria bringing the total amount of UK aid given to the war torn country and neighboring states to £400 million.
Prime Minister David Cameron
Speaking at the G20 summit in St Petersburg, the Prime Minister said much of the new money will go towards medical training and equipment to help civilians targeted by chemical attacks.
Mr Cameron also called for international action to secure humanitarian access to war zones.
The move comes after the House of Commons voted against taking military action in the war torn country.
The Prime Minister has sought to avoid being marginalized at St Petersburg by putting himself at the head of a drive to persuade G20 leaders to strengthen their support for efforts to relieve the suffering of millions of Syrians affected by the two-year civil war.
Mr Cameron announced Britain's new aid contribution - bringing the total UK funding for assistance in Syria and neighboring states to £400 million - at a meeting he called to urge fellow leaders to dig deep to fund a $3 billion (£1.9 billion) shortfall in the United Nations appeal for Syria.
Acknowledging the deep disagreements voiced when Syria was discussed at last night's official dinner, Mr Cameron said that action on aid would show that the G20 had "a very large message" of support for the people of the war-torn Middle Eastern state.
"This is a moral imperative," Mr Cameron told the meeting, attended by ministers from Canada, Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey and a senior official in the Obama administration, as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the EU's Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman van Rompuy.
"This is the big refugee crisis of our time. As the Secretary General has made clear, seven million people are in dire need and chemical weapons attacks have made this even more acute.
"A Syrian becomes a refugee every 15 seconds while we sit here at this conference. That is 5,000 fleeing their homes and becoming homeless while we are at this G20 summit.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the G20 summit
"It is also a political imperative. It will help us build international support for action by showing that our response is not just military. At a summit where people have focused on potential divisions over Syria, I wanted to bring you together to identify key priorities about the action needed to send a strong message about our commitment to the Syrian people and the urgent priority to do more."
Reminding fellow leaders that the UN relief appeal is so far only 43 per cent funded, Mr Cameron said: "The UK is the second largest bilateral donor and today we can announce an extra $81 billion ... We would welcome an announcement by others to highlight our resolve to do more."
Mr Cameron said he wanted today's meeting to begin a campaign in the weeks ahead of the UN General Assembly to challenge the world to meet the UN's funding appeal.
He added: "On chemical weapons, a strong response must be about saving lives as well as preventing future attacks. Britain's new support will include scaling up medical response in the face of chemical attacks, through the training of medical and civil defence teams, protective equipment to assist decontamination and medical supplies including antidotes and response medicine.
"I hope we can send a strong signal that we can act, and act specifically to relieve this appalling suffering caused by the war crime of chemical weapons use."
Mr Cameron also called for a "political and diplomatic breakthrough on the problem of humanitarian access", calling for agreement on the need for "unfettered humanitarian access inside Syria".
This could include priority routes for aid convoys, humanitarian pauses in the fighting so aid can get through, dedicated officials to resolve problems on the ground and the lifting of bureaucratic obstacles for aid workers.
"All of this will make a big difference to the humanitarian aid picture in Syria," he said.
"If we can agree these three points, we will have made sure that this G20 summit - despite all the disagreements there were last night - has a very large message on humanitarian aid."
I'm slowly beginning to lose the will to live ... Cameron taking the piss out of his own people yet again - is there any wonder that we are a fcking global laughing stock!! - Fx