David Cameron pledges additional £52m UK aid for Syria at G20 meeting

New money to be spent on medical training and equipment for gas attack survivor

The Prime Minister today announced millions of additional UK aid to help victims of the civil war in Syria.

Much of the £52 million set aside will go towards medical training and equipment for civilians targeted by chemical attacks.

The announcement came as the G20 summit in St Petersburg has seen divisions over the international response to the allegations of chemical weapons used by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Mr Cameron has also called for international action to secure humanitarian access to war zones.

After defeat in the House of Commons prevented the Government from preparing for military action alongside US President Barack Obama, Mr Cameron has pivoted his efforts towards persuading G20 leaders at this week's St Petersburg gathering to increase their humanitarian support efforts.

The Prime Minister was yesterday forced to deny he was being marginalised, following reports that a senior aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is hosting the G20 meeting, had dismissed Britain as “just a small island: no-one pays any attention to them”.

While Mr Cameron has said he doesn't believe the aide said this, Downing Street has demanded “clarification” of the remarks, which were denied by the Russian President's chief spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Mr Peskov said the comments did not reflect Moscow's true view of the UK and the “positive dynamics” of relations between the two countries.

Britain's new aid contribution brings the total amount of UK funding for assistance in Syria and neighbouring countries to £400 million.

At a meeting Mr Cameron urged fellow world leaders to dig deep to fund a £1.9 billion shortfall in the United Nations appeals for Syria.

While he acknowledged the deep disagreements voiced when Syria was discussed at last night's official dinner, Mr Cameron said that action on aid would show that the G20 had “a very large message” of support for the people of the war-torn Middle Eastern state.

“This is a moral imperative,” Mr Cameron told the meeting, attended by ministers from Canada, Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey and a senior official in the Obama administration, as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the EU's Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman van Rompuy.

“This is the big refugee crisis of our time. As the Secretary General has made clear, seven million people are in dire need and chemical weapons attacks have made this even more acute.

“A Syrian becomes a refugee every 15 seconds while we sit here at this conference. That is 5,000 fleeing their homes and becoming homeless while we are at this G20 summit.

“It is also a political imperative. It will help us build international support for action by showing that our response is not just military. At a summit where people have focused on potential divisions over Syria, I wanted to bring you together to identify key priorities about the action needed to send a strong message about our commitment to the Syrian people and the urgent priority to do more.”

News
newsVideo targets undecided voters
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Life and Style
Cooked up: reducing dietary animal fat might not be as healthy as government advice has led millions of people to believe
healthA look at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
News
Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat, dropped out of Stanford University just before graduation to develop his app
techAnd yes, it is quite a lot
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Retail Business Architect

Flexible for the right candidate: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: I have a fa...

Calypso Developer

£500 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: Calypso Developer Calypso, J2SE, XML, ...

IT Developer/Analyst

£35000 - £36000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A market leading financia...

Pricing Manager, Finance, Edinburgh, £250-350p/d

£250 - £350 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is cur...

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis