UN refugee efforts get 1.8-billion boost from G7, Gulf states

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The G7 countries and some Gulf states pledged 1.8 billion dollars for the UN agencies dealing with migrants displaced by the conflicts in Syria and other parts of the region late Tuesday.

The announcement came on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, and after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that the global organization’s humanitarian budget was under strain.

The money would be focussed on the UN refugee agency and the World Food Programme, said Frank-Walter Steinmeier, foreign minister of Germany, which currently holds the G7 rotating presidency.

Support would go to countries currently hosting large numbers including Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, Steinmeier said.

“In these circumstances it is the duty of the international community to ensure the situation does not become even more drastic.”

The migrant issue was expected to dominate the United Nations proceedings Wednesday.

Ban is to host another meeting on coordinating a global response to the crisis in Europe, where hundreds of thousands of migrants have fled.

The G7 group of leading economies consists of Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Their foreign ministers met earlier with those from Kuwair, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

The Gulf countries have faced criticism for not taking any refugees from conflict zones in the Middle East.

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