GENEVA (March 16, 2016) — More than 100 humanitarian agencies appealed today – on the fifth anniversary of the start of the Syria conflict – to allow immediate and on-going access to people suffering inside the country.
The joint appeal signed by leaders of UN and INGO agencies, including World Vision, follows a general cessation of hostilities in recent days and the resumption of talks to end the war.
The agencies urged all parties to the conflict to build on renewed hopes for peace and allow unconditional humanitarian access across Syria.
Kevin Jenkins, President of World Vision International, said: “There are 13.5 million people in need of assistance – 4.5 million of them in hard to reach areas and in dire need of food aid, medical assistance and a lifeline of support.
“Allowing people access to humanitarian aid is a legal obligation under international humanitarian law but this has been violated by parties to the conflict. The result is that six million children are among those in desperate need.”
The full joint statement is as follows:
As the parties to the conflict in Syria resume talks to end a war that now enters its sixth horrific year, there is renewed hope for peace. For an end to the suffering of millions of the innocent.
Two months ago our organizations appealed for urgent access to all those in desperate need inside Syria: for the lifting of sieges; for the full protection of civilians. Today, there are some encouraging signs of progress. The cessation of hostilities has allowed humanitarian organizations to rush more food and other relief to communities desperate for help.
But access has to go beyond a temporary lifting of sieges and checkpoints and allowing more aid convoys to move.
Humanitarian access and freedom of movement of civilians in Syria has to be sustained. It has to be unconditional. And it should include access to all people in need by whatever routes necessary.
The parties to this conflict and their international sponsors must from now on guarantee:
- Full access for humanitarian and medical workers to assess the wellbeing of civilians in all communities and treat those who are sick and injured without obstacle or restriction.
- Allowing all humanitarian aid, as required by international humanitarian law, to reach, unimpeded, those who urgently need it – including medical supplies, surgical equipment, and nutritional necessities.
- Support for an urgently needed nationwide immunization campaign for children.
These are practical actions that would mean the difference between life and death. All parties to the conflict can agree on them, now.
And in doing so, they can take another step to peace. Peace for Syria. The peace that Syrians so desperately deserve.
Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International
Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
Richard Allan Director, C.E.O., The MENTOR Initiative
Steen Andersen, UNICEF Denmark
Nancy A. Aossey, President & CEO, International Medical Corps
Bernt G. Apeland, ED UNICEF Norway
Dr. Mahmoud Aswad, Syrian Expatriate Medical Association
Stephan Bauman’s President of World Relief
Dr. Gudrun Berger, Executive Director, UNICEF Austria
Tomaž Bergoč, Executive Director, Slovenska fundacija za UNICEF Big Heart Foundation
Rod Brooks, President and CEO, Stop Hunger Now
David Bull, Unicef UK
Nan Buzard Executive Director, ICVA
Teresa Casale, Global Communities
Jonny Cline, Executive Director, UNICEF Israel
Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Program
Fadi Al-Dairi, Country Director, Hand in Hand for Syria
Elisabeth Dahlin, Secretary General, Save the Children Sweden
Defence for Children International
Shukria Dellawar, Women Thrive Worldwide
Hisham Dirani, BINAA
Jan Egeland, Secretary General, Norwegian Refugee Council
Danks Emese, Executive Director, UNICEF Magyar
Patricia Erb, President and CEO, Save the Children Canada
Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO of Heifer International
Amy Fong, Save the Children Hong Kong
Meg Gardinier, Secretary General, ChildFund Alliance
Mark Goldring, Chief Executive, Oxfam GB and on behalf of Oxfam International
Pavla Gomba, Výkonná ředitelka, UNICEF ČR
Madalena Marçal Grilo, Executive Director, Comité Português para a UNICEF
Daryl Grisgraber, Refugees International
Neal Keny-Guyer, President/CEO, Mercy Corp
Ken Hayami, Executive Director, Japan Committee for UNICEF
Headwaters Relief Organisation
Abdullah Hanoun, Syrian Community of the South West UK
Dirk Hegmanns, Regional Director Turkey/Syria/Iraq, Welthungerhilfe
Rolla Hinedi, Syria Relief Turkey
International Disability Alliance
Islamic Relief Worldwide
W. Douglas Jackson, President/CEO, PROJECT C.U.R.E
Kevin Jenkins, President, World Vision
Bergsteinn Jónsson, Executive Director, UNICEF Iceland
Mohannad Kanawati, Khayr Charity
Thomas G. Kemper, General Secretary General, Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church
Marja-Ritta Ketola, CEO, UNICEF Finland
Peter Klansoe, Regional Director, Danish Refugee Council
Pim Kraan, Chief Executive, Save the Children Netherlands
Marek Krupiński and Krzysztof Socha, Polish National Committee for UNICEF
Dr. Hans Kuenzle Chair of the Board of the Swiss Committee for UNICEF
Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF
Jane Lau, Chief Executive, Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF
Ilias Liberis, Executive Director, Hellenic National Committee for UNICEF
Jonas Keiding Lindholm, Generalsekretær / CEO, Red Barnet / Save the Children Denmark
John Lyon, President, CEO, World Hope International
Eleanor McClelland, People in Need
Vivien Maidaborn, CEO, UNICEF NZ
Ennio Miccoli Director COOPI – Cooperazione Internazionale
Carolyn Miles, President & CEO, Save the Children USA
David Milliband, International Rescue Committee
Juraj Mišura and Giorgio Dovogi Slovak Committee for UNICEF
James Mitchum Chief Executive Officer, Heart to Heart International
Othman Moqbel , Chief Executive, Human Appeal International
David Morley, President and CEO, UNICEF Canada
John Nduna, General Secretary, ACT Alliance
Niall O’Keeffe, Head of Region, Middle East & Asia, Trócaire
William O’Keefe, Catholic Relief Services
Babatunde Osotimenhin, Executive Director, UNFPA
Ignacio Packer, Secretary General,Terre Des Hommes International Federation
Ahmad Faizal Perdaus, MERCY Malaysia
Peter Power, UNICEF Ireland
Erna Reynisdóttir, CEO, Barnaheill – Save the Children á Íslandi
Curt Rhodes International Director, Questscope
Michel Roy, Secretary-General, Caritas Internationalis
Paolo Rozera, Executive Director, UNICEF Italian National Committee
Christian Schneider, German Committee for UNICEF
Kunio Senga, Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children, Japan
Martin Shupack, Church World Service
Baraa Al-Smoudi, Ihsan RD
Janti Soeripto, Save the Children International
SOS Children’s Villages International
Tanya Steele, Interim Chief Executive of Save the Children UK
Caryl M. Stern President and CEO, US Fund for UNICEF
John Stewart, President, Australian Committee for UNICEF
Dae Won Suh, Executive Director, KCU
William Lacy Swing Director General IOM
Syria Relief and Development
Ghaith Taraben, Head of Mission, Turkey, Qatar Red Crescent
Amro Tarrisi, Violet Organization
Marta Alberch Terres, Directora, Unicef Comitè d’Andorra
Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit , General Secretary, World Council of Churches
Joan Timoney, Women’s Refugee Commission
United Muslim Relief
Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General, Religions for Peace
Damien Vincent, UNICEF Belgium
Sandra Visscher, Executive Director UNICEF-Luxembourg
Jan Bouke Wijbrandi, Dutch National Committee for UNICEF
Nancy E. Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Relief International
Tove R. Wang, CEO, Save the Children Norway
Samuel A. Worthington, CEO, InterAction
Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
Mohammad Zia-ur-Rehman, Chief Executive, Awaz Foundation Pakistan
About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them 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/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.
- More than 100 humanitarian agencies appealed to allow immediate and on-going access to people suffering inside the country.
- Syria Crisis enters its 6th year this week