US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with Kuwaiti Emir Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, right, at Bayan Palace in Kuwait City, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)
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Western and Gulf Arab nations pledged $1.4 billion on Wednesday for United Nations aid efforts in Syria, where an almost three-year-old civil war has left millions of people hungry, ailing or displaced.The world body estimates that the conflict has reversed development gains in Syria by 35 years, with half its people now living in poverty.The $1.5 billion promised via the United Nations at a similar meeting last year in Kuwait was used in Syria and surrounding countries to provide food rations, medicine, drinking water and shelters.The World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday it had delivered rations to a record 3.8 million people in Syria in December, but civilians in eastern provinces and besieged towns near the capital remain out of reach.The WFP says it needs to raise $35 million every week to meet the food needs of people both inside Syria and in neighbouring countries.
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