Ireland is set to announce €4.7m in aid for Syria

Updated: Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 13:01

Ireland is set to announce an additional €4.7 million in aid for victims of Syria's civil war.

The commitment will be made at a conference of international donors in Kuwait tomorrow and will bring Ireland’s total response to €7.1m.

Earlier, the UNHCR told RTÉ News that if the influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan continues at such a high rate it would run out of emergency supplies, such as tents, blankets and sleeping mats, within a week.

US President Barack Obama has said his country will boost humanitarian aid to Syria.

He urged other nations to do more to help the UN, which is struggling to assist 4m people in the war-torn country and more than 700,000 who have fled it.

Mr Obama said he authorised an additional $155 million in aid for food, medical care and clothing for Syrians and refugees, bringing the US total to $365m.

He issued a video statement on YouTube with Arabic subtitles speaking directly to Syrians.

Mr Obama has been criticised for not doing more to aid rebels trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, even as the humanitarian cost of the conflict has grown and Western nations worry about the growing clout of Islamic militants among the rebels.

He said he has wrestled with whether a US military intervention in Syria's 22-month-old civil war would help resolve the bloody conflict or make things worse.

Mr Obama said the aid would help bring food and clean water to Syrians.

"It means immunizations for one million Syrian children," Mr Obama said in a statement. "American aid means winter supplies for more than half a million people in Aleppo, Homs and Dayr az Zawr."

The UN said more than 60,000 people have died in the uprising.

It said it needs about $1bn to help refugees and another $519m to help people inside Syria, but yesterday it had raised only 3% of that target.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokeswoman Sybella Wilkes said: "We have seen an unrelenting flow of refugees across all borders. We are running double shifts to register people."

Jordan has 171,033 registered Syrian refugees, as well as 51,729 who await processing, many of who fled fighting around the southern Syrian town of Deraa this month.

Lebanon has 158,973 Syrian refugees and 69,963 awaiting processing.

Turkey has 163,161 Syrian refugees in its 15 camps, while Iraq hosts 77,415, the UNHCR said.

There are 14,375 in Egypt and 5,417 registered across the rest of North Africa.

The UN warned yesterday that it would not be able to help millions of Syrians affected by the fighting without more money.

Read Ray Colgan's special report from Jordan's Za'atari refugee camp, now home to over 65,000 people.

65 people found executed in Aleppo - activists

Activists say that at least 65 people, apparently shot in the head, have been found dead in a neighbourhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the men were found with their hands bound.

The death toll could rise as high as 80, it warned, in what it called a "new massacre".

It was not clear who carried out the killings.

The conflict in Syria has lasted for almost two years.

Rebels have pushed into major cities such as Aleppo and Damascus and taken territory in the north and east, while government forces have bombarded rebel-held areas with artillery and air strikes.