Billions in aid for Syrian refugees

The global community agreed at a donor conference in London to put roughly nine billion euros at the disposal of relief organisations for refugees of the Syrian civil war. Is this the right way to stop people from leaving Syria's neighbouring states for Europe?

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The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Only money can stop the exodus

Money will be the main factor in defusing the refugee crisis, the conservative Daily Telegraph comments:

“The pressures are now so great in the camps and on the host countries that a mass movement of people into Europe is likely, dwarfing the one million who arrived last year.…The British government’s position has been the right one - to encourage Syrians who have fled their ravaged homeland to stay as close as possible in order to return when they can. This means ensuring that the refugee camps are well maintained and provide schooling for children and occupation for the adults. But that requires money; and there is little point countries promising funds and then failing to stump up. The long-term costs of allowing this crisis to worsen will be far greater than anything that is spent now.”

Die Welt (DE) /

Gulf states should donate much more

In its own interests Europe should push for the rich Gulf states to give more aid to Syria, the conservative daily Die Welt stresses:

“Just last year the donor countries in Kuwait only got together half of the targeted 6.3 billion euros for Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. … The consequence: because of massive cuts in food supplies to refugee camps people fled in droves to Europe. … The international community hopes to stem the flood of refugees by investing millions in refugee camps around Syria. … The western states, however, should compel regional players like the rich Gulf states, and above all Saudi Arabia whose role in the refugee crisis has been scandalous so far, to make a substantial contribution to the well-being of their fellow believers.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

The West's powerlessness

The financial aid can't conceal the powerlessness of the international community, the liberal-conservative daily Corriere della Sera rails:

“Despite all the diplomatic efforts the West can't hide its helplessness in the fight against the IS with financial aid which, as always, comes too late. … Syria and Libya have become laboratories for a counter-offensive which the international community - somewhat hypocritically - sees as a success. … The peace talks for Syria were formally suspended on Wednesday, but they have been exposed as the reflection of a strategic and humanitarian disaster which the billions pledged in London yesterday will do nothing to alter. The exhortations to find a solution voiced by the US, whose influence is dwindling by the minute, fell on deaf ears. … And the winners of the Geneva debacle are the IS and Assad, who are experts at exploiting the participants' differences of opinion.”

Delo (SI) /

Donor conference misses the point

Unfortunately the donor conference in Syria only addresses the consequences rather than the causes of the crisis, the centre-left daily Delo comments:

“The European Union only became active when the Syrian war and its refugee convoys reached its territory. It only really got moving, if one can talk of movement, when the boomerang returned hitting it right in the heart. The terrorist attacks in Paris can be described as a boomerang. But Europe's reaction was not a reflection of peace. The refugees were to blame. So the consequences rather than the causes [of the Syrian war] were identified as the culprits. The donor conference in London has also been dedicated to dealing with the consequences rather than eliminating the causes: the only goal is to finally put a stop to the tragic wave of people simply trying to survive.”