UN Asks for $6.5 Billion to Help Syrians
The United Nations is asking for $6.5 billion in aid to help the millions of Syrians forced from their homes by more than two and a half years of fighting.
U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said $2.3 billion of that amount is needed for those displaced in Syria. The rest is necessary to help Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and elsewhere in the region.
The U.N. estimates about 40 percent of Syria's population has been forced from their homes by the fighting.
The U.N. asked for $4.4 billion to help Syrians last year, but says it only received about two-thirds of that amount from donors.
Meanwhile, the U.N. is flying humanitarian aid from Iraq to northern Syria, where people affected by the fighting are dealing with harsh winter conditions.
The aid flights are delivering food, blankets and health supplies.
France Seeks More Help for C.A.R.
France is seeking more help from European nations in the effort to restore security in the Central African Republic.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says he will ask his European Union counterparts for more aid at a meeting Monday in Brussels.
He said in a radio interview Sunday that increased assistance could include other nations providing troops to the Central African Republic. France has deployed 1,600 troops there as part of a United Nations-mandated effort to restore security and protect civilians.
Fabius said several countries are providing logistical help, including Britain, Germany, Spain, Poland and Belgium.
The Central African Republic descended into chaos after the rebel, mostly Muslim, Seleka movement toppled the president in March.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last week that the violence has taken the country to "the brink of ruin."