International donors have pledged $7.7bn in humanitarian aid for war-ravaged Syria at a virtual conference hosted by the United Nations and the European Union.
While less than the almost $10bn sought by UN agencies, the funding promises were higher than expected, given the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic and shortfalls in other aid appeals, notably for Yemen earlier this month.
Pledges came from countries including Germany, which offered 1.58 billion euros ($1.78bn), in what Berlin said was the single biggest country donation, and Qatar, which promised $100m.
The money pledged will be used to finance food, medical aid and schooling for the millions of Syrians displaced or forced into exile – many of whom are living with food insecurity.
Now in its tenth year, the war in Syria has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions, sparking a major refugee exodus.