Aid agencies: Brussels conf. must take action for Syrians’ sake

BRUSSELS, Donors and governments meeting Tuesday and Wednesday of the Brussels II conference must take the opportunity to bring change for the millions of vulnerable Syrians in their war-torn country and in the region, eight aid agencies said in a joint statement Monday.

With 2017 considered one of the worst in the seven-year Syria crisis, and 2018 on track to be equally devastating for civilians, the agencies are warning that they will be unable to meet the staggering needs.

The aid response is just over 20 percent funded, yet close to 700,000 people have been internally displaced by violence in Syria in 2018 alone, with continued attacks on civilians and critical infrastructure like schools and hospitals. Some 7.3 million Syrians are living in communities in hazard conditions, they said.

Carsten Hansen, Regional Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said “there is a massive problem across the region of Syrians without legal status or the right documents, who can’t access aid or safety, education or jobs.” “There has been undeniable progress as a result of previous conferences, but more needs to be done in Brussels. We need action, not just talk,” Hansen added.

Marta Lorenzo, Regional Director of Oxfam, said “politicians promise in haste but deliver at leisure. They need to make good on their promises to the people of Syria.” “Fewer than 3 per cent of Syrian refugees have resettled in rich countries – with the US accepting only 11 Syrian refugees this year,” Lorenzo noted. The joint statement was released by: Christian Aid, CARE International, International Rescue Committee, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, Humanity and Inclusion, Save the Children.

Source: Kuwait News Agency