Thursday, 21 January 2016 21:23

120 International Organizations Appeal for Lifting Siege on Syrian Communities

More than 120 humanitarian organizations and United Nations agencies issued a joint appeal today urging the world to raise their voices and call for an end to the Syria crisis and to the suffering endured by millions of civilians.

The organizations warned that “there are 13.5 million individual human beings whose lives and futures are in jeopardy.”

“Now, the war is approaching its sixth brutal year. The bloodshed continues. The suffering deepens,” said the appeal, which is published on the UNICEF website.

“So today, we – leaders of humanitarian organizations and UN agencies - appeal not only to governments but to each of you - citizens around the world – to add your voices in urging an end to the carnage. To urge that all parties reach agreement on a ceasefire and a path to peace,” the appeal went on.

The organizations called for “those with the ability to stop the suffering … to take action now.” It stressed that such action should include “unimpeded and sustained access for humanitarian organizations to bring immediate relief to all those in need inside Syria.

The organizations listed “practical actions" that should include “humanitarian pauses and unconditional, monitored ceasefires to allow food and other urgent assistance to be delivered to civilians, vaccinations and other health campaigns, and for children to return to school.”

Such an action should ensure “a cessation of attacks on civilian infrastructure – so that schools and hospitals and water supplies are kept safe” as wells as “freedom of movement for all civilians and the immediate lifting of all sieges by all parties.”

Last week, the Syrian Coalition appealed to the UN Security Council to take the action necessary to break sieges across Syria ahead of an emergency session held on Friday at a request of France.

Najib Ghadbian, the Syrian Coalition’s Special Representative to the United Nations, said that “one-off assistance is not going to stop the systematic starvation of innocent civilians by Assad regime forces.”

“One million people are currently trapped in besieged communities across Syria because the Assad regime is stealing aid and denying basic access. Every day, innocent men, women and children starve to death because of Assad’s sieges—but these deaths could be stopped immediately, if only Member States would take the action to enforce the Security Council's resolutions,” Ghadbian added.

Ghadbian stressed that “the Security Council has agreed the mandate to break the sieges across Syria, and save lives immediately, including through the delivery of aid without the consent of the Assad regime. Member States must now do what it takes to ensure that the UN can fulfill its mandate to deliver aid irrespective of consent.” (Source: Syrian Coalition + Anadolu)

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