TODAY’S MESOP SYRIA INSIGHT
NGOs have pledged $400 million in humanitarian assistance for Syria ahead of an international donor conference to begin Wednesday in Kuwait. The conference aims to help the United Nations raise $6.5 billion for assistance for Syria and neighboring countries hosting refugees from the conflict that is now approaching its third year. The U.N.’s World Food Programme (WFP) delivered rations to a record 3.8 billion people in December, however it remains concerned about people living in eastern provinces and besieged areas who remain out of reach. On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Syria is prepared to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to some areas under siege, including East Ghouta, where residents have been cut off for nearly a year. Meanwhile, an official from the opposition Syrian National Coalition said the United States and Britain have warned they may reconsider support for the group if it fails to participate in a peace conference slated to begin on January 22 in Switzerland.