Doha meeting pledges more than $260 mln in Syrian aid

Doha - 

More than $260 million has been pledged in humanitarian aid for Syria following a meeting in Doha on Sunday involving the UN and 25 non-governmental organisations from across the region.

Qatari state media said the total number of pledges stood at $262 million and were made by participants at the meeting which comes ahead of a European Union two-day conference on war-torn Syria later this week in Belgium.

Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Muraikhi, the UN Secretary General's Humanitarian envoy, told the Doha meeting that Syria faces a huge humanitarian crisis which requires up to $8 billion in aid for the current year.

He added that more than 13 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance, according to the Qatar News Agency.

Among the organisations at the conference was the Qatar Red Crescent, several from the Gulf Cooperation Council and charities from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

This week's Brussels conference is expected to bring together representatives from more than 70 countries and international organisations.

Upwards of 320,000 people have been killed and more than half of the country's population displaced since Syria's conflict erupted in 2011 with protests against President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

Wealthy Qatar has been one of the biggest financial backers of rebel groups fighting Assad.

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