As Syrian war enters 6th year, humanitarian agencies make joint appeal to allow aid to reach those in need
The joint appeal signed by leaders of UN and INGO agencies, including World Vision, follows a general cessation of hostilities in recent days and the resumption of talks to end the war. The agencies urged all parties to the conflict to build on renewed hopes for peace and allow unconditional humanitarian access across Syria.
, President of World Vision International, said: “There are 13.5 million people in need of assistance – 4.5 million of them in hard to reach areas and in dire need of food aid, medical assistance and a lifeline of support. Allowing people access to humanitarian aid is a legal obligation under international humanitarian law but this has been violated by parties to the conflict. The result is that six million children are among those in desperate need. “
The full joint statement:
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 seiges 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.
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