Syria humanitarian crisis far from over - GulfToday

Syria humanitarian crisis far from over

At least 86,000 people have also reportedly been displaced by this latest upsurge of violence.

The Syrian conflict has entered the ninth year and while fighting has diminished, the humanitarian crisis is far from over, as per United Nations officials, and this is a matter of huge concern.

Adding to the worry is the fact that a growing number of civilians have been killed or injured in recent weeks.

UN Security Council, Rosemary DiCarlo, head of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, and Ramesh Rajasingham, a senior director at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, have highlighted the escalating violence in the last rebel-held enclave of Idlib, and the surrounding areas of north-west Syria.

The region has seen an alarming spike in civilian casualties: Last month alone, 90 people were killed, of whom nearly half were children.

At least 86,000 people have also reportedly been displaced by this latest upsurge of violence.

Health facilities, including a hospital in Saraqeb city, which had been deconflicted with the parties through established procedures, and schools, are reported to have been hit.

Syria has been witnessing one of the most tragic times in its history. Hundreds of thousands have been killed, many maimed physically and psychologically, millions remain displaced and thousands have been detained or missing.

Distressingly, the worst affected have been children. In 2018 alone, 1,106 children were killed in the fighting in the country – the highest ever number of children killed in a single year since the start of the war. These are only the numbers that the UN has been able to verify, which means the true figures are likely much higher.

The UAE, on its part, has been doing its best to help the Syrian people and its recent pledging of $65 million as part of its aid efforts in 2019 is one such benevolent move.

As Minister of State Zaki Nusseibeh mentioned while addressing the third Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region, the UAE has always been at the forefront in alleviating the current humanitarian crisis in Syria and supporting the displaced and refugees, be it through UN agencies or the Syria Recovery Trust Fund, which managed to provide services to difficult-to-reach regions, including launching food security programmes and establishing power grids, water networks and medical schemes.

Just last month, the UAE Embassy in Amman supervised the launch of a winter campaign, presented by the Ahmad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation for Charitable and Humanitarian Works, for Syrian refugees in Jordan, under the framework of the Year of Tolerance.

Faisal Ahmed Al Malek, Advisor at the UAE Embassy in Amman, distributed blankets, clothes and winter supplies to eligible Syrian refugees, at the headquarters of the “Jordanian Association for the Care and Rehabilitation of Orphans and Poor” in eastern Amman.

The fact remains that today 12 million Syrians are either refugees or displaced inside Syria, around half of the pre-war population.

There should be no interruption in the delivery of life-saving food, water, health, shelter and protection to the affected and helpless Syrian civilians.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is right in stating that it is a moral obligation and a political imperative for the international community to support Syrians to unite around a vision that addresses the root causes of the conflict and forges a negotiated political solution.