Europe

Donors seek to drum up Syria billions as UN convenes

  • European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, right, and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, left, address a round table at an EU Syria conference at the Europa building in Brussels on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The EU and other nations meet Wednesday to discuss what will be needed to rebuild war-ravaged Syria. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, right, and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, left, address a round table at an EU Syria conference at the Europa building in Brussels on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The EU and other nations meet Wednesday to discuss what will be needed to rebuild war-ravaged Syria. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

  • British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, third right, shakes hands with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, center, during a round table at an EU Syria conference at the Europa building in Brussels on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The EU and other nations meet Wednesday to discuss what will be needed to rebuild war-ravaged Syria. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, third right, shakes hands with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, center, during a round table at an EU Syria conference at the Europa building in Brussels on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The EU and other nations meet Wednesday to discuss what will be needed to rebuild war-ravaged Syria. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, right, and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, center, attend a round table at an EU Syria conference at the Europa building in Brussels on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The EU and other nations meet Wednesday to discuss what will be needed to rebuild war-ravaged Syria. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, right, and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, center, attend a round table at an EU Syria conference at the Europa building in Brussels on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The EU and other nations meet Wednesday to discuss what will be needed to rebuild war-ravaged Syria. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

International donors are seeking to drum up billions of dollars in aid for war-ravaged Syria, as the U.N. Security Council readies for an emergency meeting over a suspected deadly chemical attack there.

U.N. relief coordinator Stephen O'Brien said Wednesday that "for the immediate needs of 2017 we need about $8 billion."

Nearly 400,000 people have been killed, and half of Syria's population displaced, by the six-year conflict. U.N. agencies estimate war damages across Syria at $350 billion.

Earlier this week, at least 58 people were reported killed, including 11 children, in a suspected chemical attack in a town in northern Syria.

O'Brien described it as an "abominable act", and said that for aid funds to work in Syria "you have to have access, you have to have security."