Humanitäre Hilfe muss Priorität haben / Einhaltung von bereits gemachten finanziellen Zusagen und zusätzliche Aufstockung der Mittel dringend notwendig

The participants of tomorrow’s donors conference for  Syria  in Brussels urgently need to pledge the necessary funds to ensure the survival of millions of Syrians. This is requested by international aid organizations, including CARE, Handicap International, IRC, NRC, Oxfam and Save the Children.

2017 is considered one of the deadliest years since the beginning of the Syrian crisis seven years ago. In 2018, a similarly gloomy picture has emerged. Persistent violence and air strikes on civilians, schools and hospitals have displaced nearly 700,000 people in Syria since the beginning of the year alone. The need for humanitarian aid is growing and funds are scarce, warn the relief organizations. So far, only 20 percent of the necessary aid is funded within Syria.

In addition, access to humanitarian aid by the warring parties in Syria is systematically impaired and sometimes even completely denied. At the same time, civil society is intentionally harmed, and at the same time humanitarian aid workers are targeted, the organizations complain. The United Nations data shows that in 2017, the Syrian government approved a total of 47 of the 172 aid convoys requested – 27.3 percent. This is a decline of 18 percent compared to 2016.

In the region, around 2.7 million Syrian children have been unable to go to school for years. At the same time, financial aid for emergency aid, education and job creation is losing importance for millions of Syrian refugees because they lack legal protection. In addition, hundreds of thousands of Syrians are at risk of being forced to return to Syria involuntarily, to devastated areas without basic care, or to areas where violent struggles continue.

In addition the aid organizations:

Karl-Otto Zentel, Secretary General, CARE Germany: 

„Decisive is the adequate funding of the aid, regardless of political interests. Every euro saves lives. In addition, the systematic and deliberate blockade of relief supplies must end urgently. Humanitarian workers must have unimpeded access to people in need. Local helpers risk their lives every day to provide emergency relief. They must be more firmly supported by the international community and spared from warfare by warring parties. „

Susanne Wesemann, Managing Director of Handicap International: 

„The consequences of using explosive weapons in populated areas are devastating. People urgently need physical rehabilitation and mental support. The socio-economic needs of the Syrians are enormous too. Humanitarian ordnance disposal aid must be granted access to Syria so that the population can live in safety and dignity. „

Mark Schnellbächer, Regional Director Middle East, IRC: 

„The ongoing conflict has resulted in the expulsion of three Syrians for each returnee to Syria. Syria is not safe and not prepared for the return of refugees. Participants in the conference must recognize this, stand up for the rights of refugees and support neighboring Syria, which welcomed around 5.6 million people. „

Carsten Hansen, Regional Director Middle East, NRC:

„We are seeing a growing problem for Syrians across the region. Without legal status or the right documents, they have no access to help and protection, education or work. While there is an unmistakable advance thanks to previous conferences, Brussels still needs to do more. We have to act, not just talk. „

Martha Lorenzo, Regional Director Middle East, Oxfam:

„Politiker müssen den Syrern in die Augen sehen und sich für jedes Versprechen, das sie machen, persönlich verantwortlich fühlen. Bei der Konferenz im letzten Jahr wurde die Umsiedlung besonders schutzbedürftiger Flüchtlinge als zentrale Option diskutiert, doch die Anzahl der umgesiedelten Syrer ist zurückgegangen. Weniger als drei Prozent der syrischen Flüchtlinge wurden in einkommensstärkere Länder umgesiedelt – die USA haben in diesem Jahr nur elf syrische Flüchtlinge aufgenommen. Das darf so nicht akzeptiert werden.

Tom Krift, Regionaldirektor Naher Osten, Save the Children: 

„One in three Syrian children is still denied their right to education. Despite past promises at conferences, to enable all refugee children to attend school. There is an urgent need to ensure that political and financial commitments are respected in order to create lasting positive change for local children. „