Russia criticized for weak Syrian civil war aid pledge

By Kyle Johnson,

International humanitarian agencies have criticized Russia over its weak aid for those struggling in Syria as the country deals with a civil war.

The war has caused millions living in Syria to have to abandon their homes, reports The Associated Press. "The fighting has set Syria back by years, even decades," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated.

To help those in need, the United Nations asked for $6.5 billion in aid funds during a fundraising event in Kuwait, though didn't expect to actually raise that much. Still, a good chunk of change was pledged from Western and Gulf Arab countries, with the total amount reaching $2.4 billion. Sheik Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, Kuwait's emir, donated the most at $500 million.

That number severely dwarfs what Russia has pledged, $24 million. According to the Los Angeles Times, Oxfam America said that the paltry amount is extremely low given the size of the country. Amnesty International wasn't impressed either saying the country "has made only minimal contributions."

Aid officials did note that there is the possibility that Russia may increase its donation down the line. Other large donations were from the U.S. and Britain, which gave $380 million and $164 million, respectively.

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