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SNC says $60 bn needed in 6 months after Assad falls

A prominent Syrian activist says opposition needs $60 billion to secure the first six months that will follow the collapse of Bashar Al-Assad's regime

AFP , Wednesday 21 Nov 2012
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The Syrian opposition will need $60 billion in aid to prevent the country's collapse within six months of a fall of the regime, prominent leader George Sabra told reporters on Wednesday.

Over the "first six months we need 60 billion dollars" as immediate aid and for reconstruction, Sabra told reporters in Dubai on the sidelines of a "Partnership to Invest in Future Syria" meeting.

Funding is needed to "resolve the most sensitive and outstanding issues," starting with "securing housing for people after 2.5 million homes have been destroyed" in the conflict, said Sabra, head of the Syrian National Council.

Farah Atassi, a prominent opposition activist, explained that "there is a need for cash in Syrian banks and the central bank for this phase from the first day after the fall of the Syrian regime up to six months."

This is "to ensure that vital installations such as water, electricity and health sectors continue to offer Syrian citizens their services," said Atassi, coordinator of an economic taskforce.

"This is a phase in which the Syrian state must not collapse," Atassi told AFP. "This would lead to security and economic problems."

The meeting was the second of its kind, co-chaired by the United Arab Emirates and Germany, in the Gulf country this year.

Over 500 regional and international delegates were meeting in a series of sessions to study strategies for private-sector engagement in helping to rebuild the war-torn country.

Activists put the death toll in Syria from 20 months of conflict at more than 39,000, most of them civilians.

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