01/30/2013 12:00 EST | Updated 04/01/2013 05:12 EDT

Fantino Doubles Money For Syria With $25 Million


International Co-operation Minister Julian Fantino announced Wednesday that Canada will more than double its aid to the victims of violence in Syria.

Fantino pledged an extra $25 million, bringing Canada's total contribution to more than $48 million in all.

Speaking from the first High-Level International Humanitarian Pledging Conference in Kuwait, Fantino said Canada will continue to support humanitarian partners through the Canadian International Development Agency.

Canada aims to help people affected by the Syrian crisis, particularly those who have fled to neighbouring countries such as Jordan. About 700,00 people have fled Syria since 2011.

This assistance will be delivered through Canadian humanitarian organizations and international agencies, Fantino said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed Wednesday for an end to the violence and asked for more aid to address a crisis he called catastrophic and worsening by the day. At least 65 people were found shot dead with their hands bound in the northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday.

Speaking with reporters by teleconference, Fantino said 60,000 people have died so far in the Syrian violence, and four million still need aid inside Syria.

He added that Canada will not abandon neighbouring countries who have taken in Syrian refugees,. He particularly commended Jordan for harbouring so many families.

"All countries must bring pressure on [President Bashar al-] Assad to go," he said.

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