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A Lifeline for Syria; Saving Syria's "Lost Generation"; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired February 4, 2016 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: a vital lifeline for Syrians as donor countries pledge more than $10 billion in aid
to help desperate refugees and the desperate nations looking after them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING ABDULLAH II, JORDAN: Looking into the eyes of my people and seeing the hardship and distress they carry, I must tell you, we have
reached our limit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The summit co-host and prime minister of Norway tells me there will be billions of dollars and special trade agreements to help
countries like Jordan.
Also ahead, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai on why education can stop Syria's children from becoming a lost generation.
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
And here today world leaders have pledged more than $10 billion, which is a record haul for one day and that is to help refugees pouring out of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER, GREAT BRITAIN: Today's achievements are not a solution to the crisis. We still need to see a political
transition to a new government in Syria that meets the needs of all its people.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): And even as the billions roll in for Syrian refugees, the war rolls on. A massive Russian bombing campaign enabling
the Assad regime to advance has torpedoed the latest round of Geneva peace talks.
BAN KI-MOON, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: The coming days should be used to get back to the table, not to secure more gains on the battlefield.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And without an end to the war, these leaders will need to raise many more billions every year for years to come. The record amount
they raised today reflects perhaps their growing need to keep the refugees in the region and out of Europe.
As the conference co-host Norway's prime minister Erna Solberg told me earlier today.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister Solberg, welcome to the program.
ERNA SOLBERG, NORWAY'S PRIME MINISTER: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So you're a co-host of this event. But this is the fourth event.
Why will this be different?
SOLBERG: I think the fact that we have managed to have a high level presence here is always much more easy when you are getting the prime
ministers or the presidents. So anyone who wants to come, that they will be a little bit more generous but also stick to their promises afterwards.
AMANPOUR: We know from past pledges that barely half is actually being given to U.N. and other aid organizations.
So how do you expect this time to force everybody in there to actually keep to their pledge?
SOLBERG: We're thinking that we should also make sure that we are viewing when it comes to the humanitarian conference that the U.N. is
having in May, we should also see how many have, in fact, delivered and start asking questions.
AMANPOUR: Name and shame.
SOLBERG: -- a bit name and shame because it's so important for the U.N. organization and for the aid organizations in fact to be able to plan
and to give the security for the refugees.
AMANPOUR: Wouldn't you say that actually the world is responsible for this influx into your countries?
Had you paid for them last year and the year before, you wouldn't have this problem.
SOLBERG: Well, I believe that if you had paid more locally, especially if we had provided jobs and education because what happens when
a conflict goes into its fifth year most of the refugees have used their own funds up and they can't get work. It's very difficult to same.
And if the children doesn't go to school. I mean we're all normal grown-up people. We think that if our children doesn't have any hope -- we
can sustain a lot of suffering ourselves, but if your children doesn't get education, if there's no hope for them, then, of course, people are on the
That's why I'm so passionate about also making sure in the conflict areas we have to make sure that youth gets education.
AMANPOUR: The King of Jordan has said that his country, which has about 20 percent refugees as well as Lebanon, he said his country is at
boiling point, that they cannot tolerate it anymore and the whole thing may just explode.
And they are asking for money not just for the refugees but for their own people to have some kind of joint employment strategy.
I understand that there are proposals on the table for these various countries to have preferential trade deals or to have maybe like an
employment zone where refugees can work alongside locals in these frontier countries.
Is that correct?
And how worried are you about --
AMANPOUR: -- like an ally like Jordan?
SOLBERG: Well, I'm very worried about Lebanon and Jordan. Both countries are extremely important for the whole region and they have
managed a very difficult situation and we have to make sure that the infrastructure is holding out, that they can help the refugees.
But also, of course, if they will open their labor markets, it's possible to make a deal around this.
AMANPOUR: In other words get them to allow the Syrian refugees to work there.
SOLBERG: For some of the Syrian refugees to work there for -- and creating more investments in the area. I think Jordan has put up a very
interesting proposal. And I understand that the E.U., which is the most important part here, is now also saying yes to some sort of preferential
treaty, at least for five years.
AMANPOUR: We've been looking at many of the European countries, who originally very generous and now seem to have gone, oh, my goodness, what
have we done? We have so many people we can't cope with.
Your own country is talking about getting rid of thousands of the refugees. You have a very hard-line immigration minister, who is talking
about a tidal wave of kindness in your country that's a nightmare for Norway.
I mean, what kind of talk is that?
SOLBERG: Well, I don't agree with whatever she said that in a heated debate before she became minister. But it's -- we have had -- and we've
been agreeing on a strict -- for immigration policy to Norway for a long time. it's supposed to be fair but it's supposed to be strict.
People who are -- can be persecuted if they return back -- can't be returned back to a war zone. But there's a lot of other people coming in
to Europe now, who are not directly from a war zone.
And when you have this breakdown of the border systems and the registration system that we've had in Europe, there's a large influx of
migrants that really doesn't, the asylum institute is not for them. That's why we are saying that we have to return them.
Norway has tried to have a very strong return policy for a long time because it's important to send a signal back to countries, Bangladesh or if
it's Pakistan or if it's Afghanistan, that there is no free entry to our countries --
AMANPOUR: Even though those countries are at war?
SOLBERG: Well, Afghanistan has safe zones. It's not totally out. So it's possible to return grownups to that country. And we can't empty
Afghanistan, cannot empty these countries because the conflict has gone on for such a long time.
AMANPOUR: So we've been quite shocked to see sort of hordes of refugees, young men coming from countries that don't respect women or don't
have women's rights, attacking, for instance, revelers in Germany over New Year.
Norway has a sexual awareness and education policy for these refugees. I was quite stunned to learn that.
What is it that you need to teach them?
SOLBERG: We need to teach them that women in Norway live differently than women in the country they come from and they should be respected for
the way they live.
We move without our husbands or brothers to take care of us. We even drink and are not supposed to be victims of harassment or abuse because you
might have been out in the late evening.
You're supposed to respect all women in our country. And they have to learn about homosexuality, which is open and shown off in our societies,
which is different from where they are coming from.
And to understand that you come to a different country, you have to adapt some of your standards and that harassment of women is both a
criminal offense in Norway and it's also -- makes it possible for you faster to be sent out of our country, as we are quite -- we're telling that
they have to adapt to some of the lives that we have because, for example, women's roles are very different in our society and they have to -- they
have to respect all women a bit like they should respect their own mothers and sisters.
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister Solberg, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
SOLBERG: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And when we come back, the U.N.'s new High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, joins me live here in the studio.
So what are the chance these generous pledges will actually be met?
We'll be right back.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
As we've said today, the international community raised the largest amount of money ever in one single day. The U.S. secretary of state, John
Kerry, laid out here in London the stark humanitarian need.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: If people are reduced to eating grass and leaves and killing stray animals in order to survive on a day-to-day
basis, that is something that should tear at the conscience of all civilized people and we all have a responsibility to respond to it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So have we met that responsibility?
Let's put that to the new U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, who has been at the Syria donor's conference today here in London
and joins me now in the studio.
Welcome. You come at this job at a really intense and desperate time of need.
What's your reaction to the donations that were raised today?
FILIPPO GRANDI, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES: I would say very positive.
First of all, the amount of money that was pledged is unprecedented. Last year at a similar conference and during the year, we were funded at
about 50 percent level of the needs.
I don't have yet the percentages for this year but I have every reason to believe that it will be much higher. So we've made progress in terms of
the resources that we have available to carry out what we need to carry out.
AMANPOUR: So a lot of us have been saying, well, all this money is being raised and people are putting up their hands.
But will it be delivered?
Is that an issue, the delivery or is it the pledging that's the issue?
GRANDI: What we didn't have last year was enough pledges. We simply didn't have enough money. There's a lot of important things to be said
about this year's conference.
It looked at many aspects of the crisis, first of all the short term, the shelter, the medicines, the food -- these are very important issues.
Germany pledged half of the food needs to cover half of the food needs of the World Food Programme. This is extraordinary.
AMANPOUR: Given the fact that last year they had to slash their vouchers, the World Food Programme, and people couldn't even survive.
GRANDI: And people were hungry in the Middle East, a region which has not seen hunger for a long, long time. But this conference looked also at
the long term, at education, at jobs.
You know, I went to the Middle East a few days ago and this is what mothers told me.
My children went to school --
AMANPOUR: Well, we have some of these pictures, yes, that you have shot there.
GRANDI: -- and they must go to school here, otherwise we have to go somewhere where they can go school. So this is very important.
AMANPOUR: And schools were a big part of this, right, meeting children's education needs.
GRANDI: That was one bit. Part the other one was jobs. So these are really the pillars of the long-term outlook of this conference.
AMANPOUR: What, for instance, did this family tell you?
There's a father with his son and he was so desperate to get his son out of the misery -- and there you are, chatting with them.
GRANDI: You know, these people are faced with such incredible dilemmas. They were talking about whether it was necessary for them to
take some of those boats across the Mediterranean as the only way towards a better life. I discouraged them, of course.
But then what's the alternative?
That's why it's good to have this money. It's good because it can give them some alternative, some hope, pending a political solution that
will allow them to go back.
AMANPOUR: So OK. So this is the hope. I mean, in a way, it's very self-interested, digging into their pockets, right, because suddenly, this
year, after underfunding it all last year and previous years, see the result, that there are masses and masses of refugees who have arrived in
Europe and Europe can't cope.
GRANDI: I agree. The international community woke up very late to this reality. But at least it woke up. And this is the important thing.
Now we can do some work really to stabilize the people.
But let me insist, the only solution is political. Otherwise the war will continue and next year we'll be here again or in another capital,
asking again for billions of dollars.
For how long can we do that?
AMANPOUR: And we talked a lot about -- or at least the conference talked a lot about --
AMANPOUR: -- work permits. And this is one of the families you met again in Lebanon because they are officially -- haven't been able to work,
the Syrian refugees, in Lebanon or in Jordan. Turkey has just changed that.
What do you -- what did you hear here, for instance?
GRANDI: I hope that this will change because what all the refugees always tell us is allow us to work. This is so much more dignified than
receiving humanitarian assistance -- and it's true.
AMANPOUR: And we heard and you heard my interview with the prime minister of Norway, co-sponsor.
And Britain has doubled its aid and Britain and the United States, I understand, are the two biggest aid givers to the Syrian refugees.
But what about what Jordan has said?
We can't cope. We're at boiling point. If you want us to help them, you have to help us.
GRANDI: The five neighboring countries have taken in 4.5 million people. This is many, many times more the number of people that came to
Look at Europe's reaction to that. Those countries really have the biggest share of the burden. So I think what they say is correct. And I'm
happy that this conference goes into that direction, help them as well.
AMANPOUR: And this is the no-man's land, which has caused a lot of attention over the last several days. You tell me; there's something like
16,000 to 20,000 Syrians waiting between Syria and Jordan and Jordan is only letting in 45-50 per day.
GRANDI: That's another aspect because they have very serious security concerns, given that those people are arriving from areas --
AMANPOUR: They're children and babies -- they are children.
GRANDI: We've spoken to the Jordanian and I think they'll increase the rate of people coming in by day but it is also legitimate that they do
security checks, like any country would do.
AMANPOUR: Do you think that Jordan is going to agree to give them work permits?
Is there a deal that you've heard about -- the prime minister told me there may be preferential trade deals and sort of, you know, things to help
Jordan and its own economy.
GRANDI: I think if the package goes through we will see a massive increase in work permits in Jordan. I'm pretty sure about that.
AMANPOUR: So you mentioned, you know, if we don't get an to end this, it's going to be coming back every year for these kinds of billions.
I mean, what hope do you have for a political solution?
Look at this much-vaunted proximity talks that they can't even get proximity. They've suspended them.
GRANDI: Well, when you do the work that I do, you have to remain hopeful to an extent. At least they haven't stopped talking; they
postponed the next session. Let's hope that they will see the light and take the responsibility to bring peace to their own --
AMANPOUR: Do you think it's possible?
Because it's clear that one of the big backers, Russia, which has a veto in the Security Council, is bombing Assad's way to get more territory
and to have a better hand at the negotiating table?
GRANDI: I think it would be very difficult to bring the sides together but I don't think it's impossible. And I hope that all those that
make decision look at those images of people suffering. They should be reminded that, to put an end to their suffering is their responsibility.
AMANPOUR: Filippo Grandi, new head of the UNHCR, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
GRANDI: Thank you.
Now as we said, one of the main focus if not the main focus of this donor conference is children and preventing another lost generation. And
they are, these children, not willing and not able to be written off.
The International Rescue Committee has made this picture project by asking young refugee girls about their ambitions.
After a break, one of the most ambitious and courageous girl advocates in the whole world, Malala. She joins me with her Syrian sister, who is
saving little girls from early marriage in her refugee camp. That next.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine a world of shocking statistics; almost 2 million refugees from Syria are children. Almost none
of them are getting an education.
Almost all of them will join a lost generation unless this London summit changes that with its ambitious target of getting all the refugee
children into school by the end of the next academic year.
And imagine, without education and protection and without hope for a future, more refugee parents are marrying off their young daughters to
older men in those camps.
So today, here in London, I heard how Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, and Muzoon Almellehan, 16-year-old Syrian refugee, who spent
three years living and campaigning for Jordan's refugee camps and education there, how they have made their case.
AMANPOUR: Welcome, Malala and Muzoon. You have brought your campaign for education here.
What is so important about this conference for you?
MALALA YOUSAFZAI, EDUCATION ACTIVIST: To me, the key message that I wanted to give today was that developed countries need to support the
education of Syrian refugee children because this is the future generation that gives us hope, that the future of Syria will be better.
And when we educate them, then we see a bright future. So my message today was that the developed countries need to announce $1.4 billion for
education and some countries have made really big announcements, including the U.K.
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you, Muzoon, because you were in a camp until recently.
What was the state of education for people like you or younger children, even?
MUZOON ALMELLEHAN, SYRIAN REFUGEE: I saw many girls and boys in my community not get education and not go to school. That's so bad because it
will cause many problems to our future and our country because they started to encouraging them and make activities about education to get in good the
future and can help in our community.
AMANPOUR: And we heard that, because it was so difficult for kids, especially young girls in these camps, there's a lot more marriage going on
amongst young children, like people like your age or younger.
ALMELLEHAN: Yes. In fact, the early marriage is bigger problem. It is -- causes many problems to the girls and it's affecting their future and
their education. And many girls lost education because marriage, the girls and their parents think that education not important. Their marriage is
AMANPOUR: I mean, what do you think when you hear that?
You obviously put your life on the line for girls' education.
YOUSAFZAI: So I met Muzoon two years ago in the Zaatari camp in Jordan. And it was completely shocking to see these young boys, Syrian
refugee boys, and they were not going to school but they were rather doing child labor, earning for their families and it was really disappointing.
But Muzoon tried to encourage girls in her community and she told them that they must go to school. And then I went and visited Muzoon in other
camp as well because she moved to another camp. And there I met these lots of girls and one girl was telling me that, Malala, you're truly an
inspiration and we admire you but the person who has really inspired me is Muzoon.
So Muzoon is a real role model. She encourages girls to go to school and it's her voice that I want to -- we want to boost it and to go further
and to reach world leaders.
AMANPOUR: When you guys are in there with all these world leaders, I mean, are they listening to you?
AMANPOUR: Yes, they are.
AMANPOUR: Are they?
YOUSAFZAI: We feel we have Muzoon and her powerful voice and they have to listen to us. So the response has been positive. Looking at the
U.S. announcement, $300 million and then looking at how Germany has contributed.
So all these announcements made today give me great hope that more countries will be inspired and they, too, will contribute to education of
Syrian refugee children.
AMANPOUR: And what is it like, both of you now?
You've been here --
AMANPOUR: -- longer; you've just arrived.
Being a refugee, getting new life here in England because it's difficult to be a Syrian refugee in Europe today.
ALMELLEHAN: Yes. It's good opportunity to get a normal life again and to continue our lives and our education. This is a chance to get in
good the future and help ourselves to win. We always come back to our country can rebuild in it and help other in our community.
So I hope many girls and boys in my community go to school and have a chance to go to school and get a normal life again.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you, Malala, I don't know whether you've heard about this story. It's a different story. It's in Afghanistan. But a
young boy there was, a 10-year-old boy was trying to fight against ISIS. And the government showed him off and said what a brave young boy he was.
And the Taliban assassinated him, basically executed him. I mean, you know, you've gone through a similar experience and you survived.
What did you think when you heard about that?
YOUSAFZAI: Well, it's tragic and it's not just this one boy but it's happening to many children and many people in that region. And it's tragic
that they do not have sympathy for children, for innocent children.
And when I was attacked I was only 15 and like the only crime is that you want to go to school, you want freedom, you want to have the right to
live in peace. That's the only crime. So it's tragic but I'm hopeful that if we have strong and young children like Muzoon who are -- who have this
strength to stand up, then we should not be hopeless, we have great hope and we are going to do it.
AMANPOUR: Malala, Muzoon, thank you very much indeed. Good luck to you.
YOUSAFZAI: Thank you.
ALMELLEHAN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Good to see you again.
ALMELLEHAN: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Two determined young women. And that is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can now also listen to our podcast, always see us
online at amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you for watching. Goodbye from London. And we leave you with some of the most striking faces of this refugee crisis.