World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Urgent steps must be taken to end Syrian humanitarian crisis

13 January 2014

The international community must act now to end the suffering of millions of Syrian civilians, many of whom are at risk of starvation and face severe shortages of medical care and adequate shelter, said Amnesty International ahead of a UN donor conference in Kuwait this week.

“The world’s response to the Syria crisis so far has been woefully inadequate. At the end of 2013 the UN humanitarian appeal - the largest in the organization’s history - was just 70 per cent funded. This meant that vital aid was cut off to some of the most vulnerable victims of Syria’s brutal conflict who were left to face the bitter winter months with minimal resources,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

Although some countries have made generous financial contributions, others including the United Arab Emirates, one of the wealthiest countries within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), made promises on aid that failed to fully materialize. Russia, which has shown significant political interest in the Syrian crisis, has only made minimal contributions to the humanitarian effort.

“The world cannot repeat the mistakes of last year. Offers of assistance will make no difference if that help fails to arrive. This year world powers, particularly those with the financial means to do so, must ensure that the promises they make are kept. The donor conference offers world leaders a chance to prove they have not abandoned the Syrian people,” said Philip Luther.

The organization is urging world leaders to significantly step up their efforts at the conference on Wednesday 15 January, which aims to raise money for the US$6.5 billion humanitarian appeal, in order to provide vital assistance to those worst affected by the conflict.

The continuing violence in Syria has sparked one of the biggest humanitarian crises in recent history.

Among those worst affected are those living inside Syria, including 6.5 million who are internally displaced. Many remain stranded in areas under blockade by government forces. They face severe food shortages and are dying of starvation. Outside Syria, those who have fled to neighbouring countries also face tough conditions in poorly resourced refugee camps.

As well as urging countries to fund the humanitarian appeal for Syria, Amnesty International is calling on the Syrian government to lift blockades on the civilian population in opposition held towns and areas. Both the Syrian government and armed opposition groups must allow humanitarian organizations and agencies unfettered access to assist the civilian population.

Amnesty International is calling on states to make a concerted effort to resettle some of the most vulnerable refugees.

So far international efforts to resettle refugees have been pitiful. European Union member states have pledged to resettle just 0.5 per cent of the 2.3 million people who have fled the country.

The record of GCC states on this issue is equally dire: not one of them has offered a single resettlement place to refugees from Syria. Countries further afield, including Russia, have also failed to accept any refugees through resettlement or humanitarian admission programmes.

“At present many of those displaced by the conflict either inside or outside the country - through no fault of their own - are simply not receiving the help that they need. The international community must step up its efforts on all fronts to prove it has not forgotten about them,” said Philip Luther.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Mexico: Disappearances Reach Record Number This Year

The National Registry of Missing Persons acknowledges that from 2007 to date, there are 23,605 cases of disappeared persons; 40% have been reported during the current administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto. More>>

Ban To Take Up Fight Against Ebola With All UN Organisations

Street sellers at Waterside market in central Monrovia, where there has seen a huge drop in customers over the past months due to the onset of the Ebola Virus Disease. Photo: UNDP/Carly Learson (20 November 2014) More>>

ALSO:

Darfur: UN-Backed Event Promotes Role Of Women In Peace

Darfur: amid mass rape allegations, UN-backed event promotes role of women in peace processes More>>

Ebola Cases No Longer Rising In Guinea And Liberia

In Conakry, Guinea, a mobilizer teaches children about proper handwashing techniques, which help prevent the spread of diseases, including Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/Timothy La Rose More>>

ALSO:

UN: Alleged Mass Rape In North Darfur

UNAMID commanders from Rwanda and Ethiopia exhange duties in Tabit, North Darfur, to escort a convoy of World Food Programme (WFP) trucks travelling from El Fasher to Shangil Tobaya. Photo: UNAMID/Albert González Farran More>>


Illegal Fishermen Encroach On World’s Most Isolated Tribe

Due to their isolation the Sentinelese of India's Andaman Islands are the most vulnerable society on the planet. They face increasing threats from illegal fishermen who are targeting their waters. More>>

World War: Nearly 1,000 Dead Amid Shaky Ukraine Ceasefire

In latest report, UN rights office says nearly 1,000 dead amid shaky Ukraine ceasefire More>>

ALSO:

Palestinian Activists Cross Apartheid Wall

Friday morning around 50 Palestinian and international activists used makeshift bridges to cross the Apartheid wall between Qalandiya and Northern Jerusalem. This non-violent direct action was in response to the restrictions Israel had placed on Palestinian ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news