As Syrian War Enters 6th Year Humanitarian Agencies Jointly Appeal for Unfettered Aid

A Syrian girl attends remedial education classes funded by World Vision Jordan and transcends her trauma to rediscover the joy of learning and life. PHOTO: Jon Warren/World Vision
A Syrian girl attends remedial education classes funded by World Vision Jordan and transcends her trauma to rediscover the joy of learning and life.

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

Helen Keller

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 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