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Canada to provide additional aid for Syria's conflict victims


13:59, January 31, 2013

OTTAWA, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Canada announced Wednesday that it will provide an additional 25-million-Canadian-dollar package of humanitarian assistance for victims of Syria's 22-month-long civil unrest.

With the latest amount, Canada's total humanitarian aid over the past year to people affected by the conflict and refugees fleeing to neighboring Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq has reached 48.5 million dollars.

The funds have financed relief supplies such as food, clean drinking water and shelters to more than 1 million people.

"Canada's support is saving lives and addressing the most acute needs of those affected by the Syrian crisis," said Canadian International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino, who announced the aid package at the International humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria held Wednesday in Kuwait.

Donor countries have pledged more than 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in aid, with 1 billion dollars for Syria's neighbors housing more than 700,000 Syrian refugees, and the remaining 500 million dollars for the 4 million in Syria in need of assistance.

The Syrian conflict, which began in March 2011, has left more than 60,000 people dead, according to the UN.

The 1.5-billion-dollar aid package is expected to be just enough to provide relief supplies for six months in what UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called a "catastrophic" humanitarian crisis.

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