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Syria Conflict, Five Years On: Humanitarian Access for Children is More Vital Than Ever
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Mar 15, 2016
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The fifth anniversary of the current Syria conflict is a date most hoped never to see.  Nevertheless there are some positive signs that peace may be possible.  We are using this moment to urge the world to unite, and demand humanitarian access to besieged towns and cities, where civilians, especially children, are in desperate need of assistance.

Children at Kawergosk camp for Syrian refugees, just west of Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan Region. Photo Credit: UNICEF Ireland

Children at Kawergosk camp for Syrian refugees, just west of Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan Region. Photo Credit: UNICEF Ireland 

Dublin, March 15th, 2016

NGO’s and Aid Agencies like ChildFund across the world have come together to demand that basic humanitarian principals of conflict prevail in Syria.    With that in mind, we have signed a joint communique to show the world that we are all united when it comes the need for civilians, particularity children, the most vulnerable during time of war, to  be given access to desperately needed aid.    The communique identifies three priority issues of fundamental importance to the well being, and indeed the very survival of civilians in the conflict zone.

This is an appeal not for money but for humanity.   We are asking that the basic ethos and principals of humanitarian law during conflict be applied, namely the responsibility of all parties to ensure the protection of innocent civilians, starting with the granting of access to  Aid Agencies so that they can deliver essential supplies and services.

Five years is too long for the children of Syria and their families.   We owe it to them to demand that all parties to this brutal conflict find a common level of humanity, and safeguard the innocent.

You can read the full text of the joint communique below;

 

As the parties to the conflict in Syria resume talks to end a war that now enters its sixth horrific year, there is renewed hope for peace. For an end to the suffering of millions of the innocent.

Two months ago our organizations appealed for urgent access to all those in desperate need inside Syria: for the lifting of sieges; for the full protection of civilians. Today, there are some encouraging signs of progress. The cessation of hostilities has allowed humanitarian organizations to rush more food and other relief to communities desperate for help.

But access has to go beyond a temporary lifting of sieges and checkpoints and allowing more aid convoys to move.

Humanitarian access and freedom of movement of civilians in Syria has to be sustained. It has to be unconditional. And it should include access to all people in need by whatever routes necessary.

The parties to this conflict and their international sponsors must from now on guarantee:

  • Full access for humanitarian and medical workers to assess the wellbeing of civilians in all communities and treat those who are sick and injured without obstacle or restriction.
  • Allowing all humanitarian aid, as required by international humanitarian law, to reach, unimpeded, those who urgently need it – including medical supplies, surgical equipment, and nutritional necessities.
  • Support for an urgently needed nationwide immunization campaign for children.

These are practical actions that would mean the difference between life and death.  All parties to the conflict can agree on them, now.

And in doing so, they can take another step to peace. Peace for Syria. The peace that Syrians so desperately deserve.

ChildFund Ireland

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