The Brussels VI conference on “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” was held on May 9th and 10th May in the Belgian capital. According to the European Commission, the goal of the conference is “to continue supporting the Syrian people in Syria and the region and mobilize the international community in support of a comprehensive and credible political solution to the Syria conflict, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254”.
More than 6 billion dollars were allocated by donor countries to support humanitarian effort for displaced persons inside and outside Syria. Out of these, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced the United States is providing nearly $808 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the Syria crisis response, according to USAID.
Russia however, was not invited to the conference, with the EU claiming that Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine shows it lacks “a genuine interest to contribute to peace in the world”, according to Devex.
As a result, Moscow described the conference as a “worthless western gathering”, according to the pro-government newspaper al-Watan. In fact, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted in a statement, on Saturday, that the Brussels conference was held without the participation of representatives from Syria and Russia, and after losing the international sponsorship completely, it turned into a Western gathering that has no added value. Syria backed Russia’s position, accusing the west of politicizing humanitarian aid by imposing political conditions, according to the pro-government Syria Times. The foreign ministry said in a statement that those conferences do not reflect any real commitment to help the Syrian people and return their rights, especially if we consider the fact that countries organizing or participating in these conferences occupy or support the occupation of part of the Syrian lands and loot the resources of the Syrian people in cooperation with their tools of the separatist militias.”
The pro-government Athr Press also denounced the conference, as Donor countries confirmed that the funds allocated to support Syrians do not include the reconstruction issue, stressing that reconstruction funding in Syria will not be achieved until a political solution is reached in the country in accordance with UN Resolution 2254. In the previous version, donors pledged $4.4 billion in 2021 and $2 billion in 2022, while the United Nations was demanding $10 billion, reflecting the deficit in meeting needs, as well as declining interest in the Syrian issue.