UN to convene pledging conference for Syria aid

UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations will convene a pledging conference in Kuwait next month to try to secure more than $1.5 billion to help save the lives of millions of Syrians facing a "rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation," the world body said on Friday.
The conference will take place on January 30 in Kuwait City and will be chaired by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN press office said in a statement.
"The secretary-general is extremely concerned about the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria, where more than 5 million people urgently need help," it said.
"As a consequence of this situation, over 2 million people have been displaced inside the country and more than 540,000 Syrians have fled to neighboring countries," the statement added.
Last week the United Nations appealed for $519.6 million to help 4 million people within Syria and $1 billion to meet the needs of up to 1 million Syrian refugees in five other countries until July 2013.