Washington, DC (March 6, 2014) —The undersigned, member CEOs of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international relief and development organizations, wish to express our deep concern for the families of the Syrian Arab Republic as the war enters its fourth year with no end in sight. Our concern is mixed with horror and frustration — horror at the impact of brutal tactics on the lives of civilians and frustration at the inability of the peace process to bring the violence to a halt and allow for effective humanitarian action.
The scale of the Syria crisis continues to increase exponentially. Nine million Syrians, approaching half of the country's pre-war population, have fled their homes. Six and a half million people are internally displaced. Of this number, three million are trapped in hard-to-reach or besieged areas; an estimated 250,000 have been cut off from assistance for over a year. The suffering of Syrian civilians is alarming and overwhelming, with women and children disproportionately vulnerable to the violence and the effects of the war.
In the face of this immense crisis, InterAction member agencies are working to relieve the suffering of the Syrian people, both inside the country and in neighboring ones, where nearly 2.5 million have fled. In close cooperation with heroic Syrian aid workers and affected people themselves, our community is feeding people and providing urgent medical care, while attempting to address long-term needs for education, jobs, and shelter. But the sheer scale of the crisis and the viciousness of the civil war inside the country make it impossible to come anywhere close to meeting the basic needs of vulnerable Syrians.
On this third anniversary of the Syrian civil war, we commit to doing everything we can to ensure that the people of Syria do not lose another year to bloodshed and suffering. We stand with the people of Syria, and people around the world, in calling for our leaders to make the same commitment. Specifically we call on:
- All parties to the conflict in Syria to work with the United Nations and donor governments to immediately allow and facilitate unfettered humanitarian access throughout Syria in keeping with the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 2139.
- Donor governments to meet the 2014 UN humanitarian funding appeal of $6.5 billion for the Syria crisis.
- Donor governments to continue to support neighboring countries and host communities that are generously supporting refugees fleeing the conflict, including support for training programs and job opportunities that encourage self-reliance.
- The international community to increase resettlement of refugees from Syria, particularly the most vulnerable, to third countries and ensure that resettlement and asylum is a component of the overall humanitarian response.
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InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based nongovernmental international organizations, with more than 180 members. Our members operate in every developing country, working with local communities to overcome poverty and suffering by helping to improve their quality of life. Visit www.InterAction.org.
About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/press or follow us on Twitter @WorldVisionNews.