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VOA English Newscast: 1400 UTC February 4, 2016

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond address the media at the donors Conference for Syria in London, Feb. 4, 2016.
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From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Ira Mellman reporting.

The United States kicks more into the till (of money) aimed at helping Syrian refugees…

The United States will provide over $925-million to help Syrians trapped by civil war and assist neighboring countries struggling to cope with the crisis.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the contribution Thursday at an international donors’ conference for Syria in London.

“Today, the United States is announcing our latest contribution, which is over (US$) 925-million, that includes more than 600-million in direct humanitarian aid to provide food, shelter, water, medical care and other vital relief to millions of people inside of Syria and across the region. It also includes 325-million (US$) in development assistant, 290-million (US$) of which is new funding specifically to support schooling for 300,000 refugee youth in Jordan and Lebanon.”

The United Nations is seeking an additional $1.2 billion to help the affected nations develop response plans to the deal with the scores of refugees.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the donations will provide the affected Syrians with a "sense of hope needed to stop people thinking they have no option but to risk their lives on a dangerous journey to Europe." Cameron announced ahead of the conference that Britain would contribute $1.75 billion to the effort.

The start of the conference took place just hours after the United Nations called off the Syrian peace talks in Geneva, at least temporarily, until the end of February.

U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura was alternating between discussions with representatives of both sides.

This is VOA News.


Words in This Newscast

till – n. a place where money or other valuables are kept

cope – v. to deal with something difficult effectively

contribution – n. a gift or payment made

over – adj. more than

vital – adj. important or necessary

relief – n. aid or assistance

region – n. a part of a state or country

funding – n. finances, usually in the form of money

specifically – adj. special; exactly presented

response – n. something that is said or written in answer to something else

scores – adj. many; a large number

option – n. the chance of ability to choose something or choose between two or more things

journey – n. trip

ahead – adj. or adv. in or toward the front of

alternating – adj. in or forming a repeated series

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