April 07, 2015
The Syrian National Coalition’s representative to the Benelux and the EU, Mouaffaq Nyrabia, welcomed the European Union’s announcement today of €2.5 million in emergency funding for UNRWA’s humanitarian efforts in the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp and stressed the need for safe zones to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance:
“The Assad regime’s two-year siege of Yarmouk has inflicted an ongoing humanitarian disaster on Yarmouk. ISIL’s infiltration of the camp is another awful consequence of the chaos Assad has created. The citizens of Yarmouk, Syrians and Palestinians alike, are stuck between the regime’s aerial bombardment and the barbarity of ISIL militants on the ground, intensifying the already desperate humanitarian crisis and preventing humanitarian assistance reaching the camp.
“EU Commissioner Stylanides’a announcement of emergency humanitarian funding for Yarmouk is a welcome step. But without concrete action to stop Assad’s aerial attacks and protect civilians on the ground, both ISIL and the regime will continue to kill civilians and block humanitarian access without consequence. The international community must take urgent, practical steps to ensure rapid humanitarian relief. Steps must include clear demands of the regime and enforceable coercive measures in the event of non-compliance.
“The dire situation in Yarmouk – and across Syria, such as in Deir Ezzor, Idlib and beyond – is yet another tragic manifestation of the failure to adopt a comprehensive solution which tackles the root cause of the crisis in Syria – the Assad regime – as well as its consequences such as ISIL. Assad’s illegal siege tactics and indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilians and moderate opposition groups have provided fertile ground for ISIL to advance, and prevented the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The Assad regime has consistently ignored multiple UN Security Council resolutions demanding humanitarian access for relief agencies. Syria’s people must not be allowed to suffer further. As we have repeatedly made clear to the UN Security Council – and will again today – a no-fly zone can provide some protection to civilians, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and help create the conditions for a political solution to this conflict.”