Syria Donors Conference in London in February

The Norwegian Government has taken the initiative to convene an international donor conference for Syria, which will be held in London in early February. Norway, the UK, Germany, Kuwait and the UN are the joint hosts. 'The war in Syria has caused immense humanitarian suffering. There is an urgent need for more funding to alleviate the humanitarian suffering in Syria and its neighbouring countries, which are experiencing a massive influx of refugees,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg will open the conference together with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Kuwaiti Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

'The objective of the conference is to raise significant new funding for humanitarian efforts in Syria and to provide increased support for Syria's neighbouring countries next year and in the years ahead. We will focus on education and job opportunities for refugees and the local population in the areas where refugees are located, to improve their chances of supporting themselves and to help them regain hope for the future,' Mr Brende said.

Protection of civilians is another important topic to be discussed at the conference. Nearly 12 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to the war. Some 6.5 million are internally displaced, while 4.2 million have fled to neighbouring countries. Inside Syria, 13.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. The UN has received only about half of the funding that is needed for 2015.

'Three million Syrian children are not able to attend school because of the war. Norway is committed to ensuring that children in situations of war and conflict are able to exercise their right to an education. Much of Norway's support is being allocated to education. Norway will organise a side event on education during the conference,' said Foreign Minister Brende.