UK pledges £100m in aid for Syria

A boy reacts near the grave of his father in a cemetery in Duma neighbourhood of Damascus
Image caption A boy sits by his father's grave in a cemetery in Damascus

The UK is to give another £100m to Syria to help tackle the war-torn country's humanitarian crisis.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the pledge - which takes the total from the government to £500m - showed the UK was "leading the charge" to help.

Speaking from New York, Mr Clegg said: "We cannot avert our gaze from the Syrian people, especially children."

The £100m will go to agencies providing food, clean water and shelter to four million people displaced by fighting.

Mr Clegg, who was addressing a marginal meeting at the UN General Assembly, said: "The need for this funding is clear.

"Millions of people find themselves in an absolutely appalling humanitarian situation, through no fault of their own.

"The UK has been leading the charge to alleviate suffering through the Syria UN appeals.

"But there's a huge gap in what's needed. I've been pushing other countries at the UN General Assembly to help meet the shortfall."

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said Britain's humanitarian response to the Syrian crisis was its largest ever because "sadly it reflects the scale, despair and brutality of what's going on".

Oxfam's chief executive Mark Goldring welcomed the extra funding, saying it would make a "real difference in getting basics such as food, water and medicine to many vulnerable Syrians".

"The UK government is showing international leadership on supporting the UN appeal which is still less than half-funded. The UK government has acted, now other countries must follow," he added.

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