Flaming appeal

Flaming appeal

A man rides his bicycle through the destroyed city of Duma © Hummam Sheikh Ali

On the tenth anniversary of the Syrian conflict, aid organizations have warned of a further worsening of the humanitarian crisis. Aid agencies cannot replace a political solution to the conflict, he said.

This was emphasized by the president of Diakonie-Katastrophenhilfe Dagmar Pruin. "The EU and the German government also have a duty here."

This includes, for example, the active support of the Interception Committee, in which representatives of the government and the opposition have been negotiating since 2019. Here, it must be ensured that the interests of the Syrian population are also taken into account in a realignment of the country, said Pruin.

Since the fighting began in March 2011, aid organizations estimate that some 600.000 people killed. In addition, he said, more than 12 million people have been displaced and are now fleeing inside and outside the country, including nearly six million children.

Nearly 80 percent of the Syrian population currently lives in poverty. The humanitarian crisis in the country has recently been exacerbated by the Corona pandemic, increasing poverty and the risk of sexual violence.

Expanding humanitarian aid

Together with nine other organizations, including the aid organizations Care, Terre des Hommes and Save the Children, Diakonie called for an expansion of humanitarian aid in Syria. At the same time, they lamented the lack of efforts for a political solution to the conflict. At the next Syria conference hosted by the EU in Brussels on 29. and 30. March must send a signal that the world has not forgotten the country.

Criticism was also directed at the sanctions imposed on the country. For example, the blockade of money transfers from the U.S. and Europe to Syria makes it virtually impossible to send the necessary funds to help the population, stressed the international Catholic relief agency Aid to the Church in Need.

This financial support is central to ensuring that food, medical supplies and clothing can be purchased locally, said the executive president, Thomas Heine-Geldern. "It is our duty to help the suffering civilian population in Syria. The Christian minority in particular is in danger of disappearing."

More prere on political decision-makers is also demanded by the Alliance Development Helps. As long as no political solution is found, however, at least humanitarian aid must be unhindered, said the organization's executive director, Peter Mucke. For this, Germany and the EU would have to enforce border openings that would allow humanitarian workers access to people in need.

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