International donors have committed $10.3 billion in aid for millions of Syrians battered by war, poverty, and hunger, both at home and as refugees abroad.
The funding pledges by 57 nations and 30 international organisations at an annual European Union-hosted conference on Thursday in Brussels for Syria fell about $800 million short of a United Nations humanitarian appeal.
Funding from the conference will help provide aid to Syrians in the war-torn country and to some 5.7 million Syrian refugees living in neighbouring countries, particularly Türkiye, Lebanon and Jordan.
At the outset of the conference, three United Nations agencies said the needs are "enormous" and warned that only a tenth of necessary financing has so far been secured for 2023 projects.
"Humanitarian funding for Syria is not keeping pace with rapidly increasing needs," said Janez Lenarcic, the conference host and the EU's top official for humanitarian aid and crisis management.
"More help for the Syrian people and those hosting them is imperative. The needs are enormous," said a joint statement on Thursday by Martin Griffiths, Filippo Grandi and Achim Steiner, who jointly steer the UN-led response to the crisis in Syria.
The UN officials had said earlier they hoped for a similar level of pledges to the $6.7 billion offered for Syria and its neighbours at a similar conference last year.
According to UN refugee agency UNHCR, more than 14 million Syrians have fled their homes since 2011, and about 6.8 million remain displaced in their own country, where almost the entire population lives below the poverty line.
About 5.5 million Syrian refugees live in Türkiye, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.