The G7 group of leading economies, European countries and Gulf states pledged $1.8bn in funding for UN aid agencies struggling with the worst refugee crisis in 70 years. The commitment came after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told world leaders at the opening of the General Assembly debate that UN humanitarian agencies were “broke.” ” We have agreed to provide together $1.8bn for the international aid organizations of the United Nations, especially the UN refugee agency and the World Food Program,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters. The pledge was announced after a meeting of foreign ministers of the G7- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States- with their counterparts from Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Separately at the United Nations, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a $1.5 billion commitment by Japan to help counter the growing Middle East refugee crisis. It would include $810 million to assist refugees from and within Syria and Iraq and $750 million for peace building in the Middle East and Africa. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Gueterres thanked donor countries for stepping up with financial contributions. ” We were financially broke,” he said adding: “The generosity of the international community has not diminished” over the past few years, with donations actually on the rise.