15 March 2017 - With ongoing bombardment in and around Damascus and countless people trapped in besieged areas throughout Syria, Christian Aid asks world leaders to act now to end the horrors, and reaffirms its call for an immediate and lasting ceasefire.
Frances Guy, Head of Middle East at Christian Aid, said: “Today, six years on we owe Syrians under siege and under fire, the respect of remembering their daily horrors and urging world leaders to put in that extra effort to bring an end to this suffering.”
Ms. Guy added: “Six years of brutal civil war, that has left millions of people stranded in hard to reach areas. Six years during which the world has watched the medieval tactics of siege and starvation.
“Six years where children have not been to school, where neighbouring countries have strained to match the demands on their hospitality that the rest of the world tries to ignore. And still there are new stories to tell and still the daily hardships continue.
“The current ceasefire is clearly not working. Syria and the world needs a real ceasefire to help all Syrians breathe a little”
According to the United Nations 13.5 million people require humanitarian assistance, including 4.6 million people in need trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas.
Just in the last few weeks an intensification of bombing and military campaigns to towns north east of Damascus has forced tens of thousands of people to flee under heavy bombardment.
A Christian Aid partner described the events in one town in rural Damascus: “Around 20,000 people fled in two weeks. After five years’ they have moved a lot, those who fled in these last weeks have already moved three times before. You become a nomad, you flee for your life. But it is not like you go to a safer place – you flee, come back home if it is safe, and if not you keep on moving. At the end of the day, there is nothing bright on the horizon.”
For next month’s conference in Brussels, Supporting The Future Of Syria And The Region, Christian Aid hopes that this will bring solid action to guarantee an end to sieges, an end to attacks on civilians, unhindered humanitarian access and keeps humanitarian protection at the heart of decision making about the future of Syria.
Within Syria Christian Aid is supporting partners provide hot meals to people recently displaced by the bombing of towns north east of Damascus.
Outside of Syria we are helping to support the most vulnerable of Syrian refugees, including women, girls and those with pre-existing disabilities or injuries sustained as a result of conflict. Christian Aid partners enable Syrian refugee children to continue their education and provide livelihood training for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
To donate of find out more about our Syria appeal please visit the website: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/emergencies/syria-crisis-appeal
For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact Johanna Rogers on firstname.lastname@example.org. (24-hour press duty phone: 07850 242950.)
Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid has published an updated Gender Justice Strategy for 2017.
2. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
3. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
4. Christian Aid is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.
5. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire
6. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk