‘Political Solution the Only Option for Syria,’ says Aid Agency on Eve of Conference

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Lauren Fisher
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Refugee Enstar, 28, and a neighbor. Enstar is a mother of eight including a young baby. She lives tent in an internally-displaced people’s (IDP) camp in Erbil, Iraq Kurdistan and is trying her best to keep her infant warm, despite the meager shelter. PHOTO: World Vision/Cecil Laguardia
Refugee Enstar, 28, and a neighbor. Enstar is a mother of eight including a young baby. She lives tent in an internally-displaced people’s camp in Erbil, Iraq Kurdistan and is trying her best to keep her infant warm, despite the meager shelter. PHOTO: World Vision / Cecil Laguardia

AMMAN, Jordan (March 30, 2015) — Children facing their fifth year of war need to be the focus of a major conference for Syria this week, a leading child-focused aid agency said today.

Ahead of the third donor pledging conference in Kuwait starting tomorrow (March 31), humanitarian relief, development and advocacy organization World Vision has issued an urgent plea, publicly and privately, to governments who will be attending.

“A political solution must be found to end this crisis, and governments gathered in Kuwait this week need to lead the way,” said World Vision Syria Response Director Wynn Flaten. “Life for refugees is getting worse, humanitarian funding is appallingly meagre, and there is no way that host communities and countries can bear the growing costs of these alarming trends.”

Syria’s biggest problems, says World Vision:

Donor countries have failed Syria

  • Only 54% of the UN’s funding appeals were met in 2014, down from 71% in 2013.
  • So far in 2015, funding has yet to reach even 10% of what is needed.
  • UN funding has increased just three-fold overall since 2012, while the number of people in need inside Syria has grown twelve-fold — from 1 to 12 million.

Syria’s children bear the brunt

  • 7.5 million Syrian children are in need of humanitarian aid.
  • 2.6 million Syrian children are no longer in school and close to 2 million are refugees in neighboring countries.
  • Families fleeing conflict face growing restrictions while trying to cross into neighbouring countries.

Refugees’ lives growing more desperate

  • Protective spaces for refugees have shrunk dramatically in the time since the last pledging conference.
  • Tensions are rising between host and refugee communities, as competition for resources, services and jobs intensify.

“We want to see some real pressure on all parties to the conflict to end fighting and enter into meaningful, inclusive peace talks,” said Flaten. “Donor governments in Kuwait this week must also commit to increasing their pledges and helping to ensure that Syria’s neighbouring states keep their borders open.”

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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.

Highlights

  • The increase in refugees from the conflict is outpacing humanitarian funding by four-to-one.
  • Refugees and host communities are increasingly unable to cope.