Seven Years Of War In Syria: A Report On Horror

Seven Years Of War In Syria A Report On Horror

The relentless suffering of Syrian civilian population marks a shameful failure of political will as well as a new low in Syria’s long-running conflict, which is now reaching a depressing seventh anniversary, as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said on 9 March 2018.


Those seven years of fighting have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, rendered 6.1 million people homeless inside Syria, and forced 5.6 million refugees to search for safety in neighboring countries in the region.


The conditions civilians inside Syria have to face are worse than ever, with 69% languishing in extreme poverty. The share of families spending over half of their annual income on food has increased to 90%, while food prices are on average eight times higher than pre-crisis levels. About 5.6 million people endure life-threatening conditions regarding their security, fundamental rights or living standards, and require immediate humanitarian assistance.


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, along with humanitarian partners are making every effort possible to bring relief to people in dire need inside Syria, but access to populations in besieged and areas that are hard to reach remains woefully inadequate. The humanitarian convoy aiding the besieged people of Duma in Eastern Ghouta on 5 March 2018 was a welcome development. Nevertheless, ongoing shelling forced the trucks to leave before half of the food destined for the hungry could be offloaded.


Seven Years Of War In Syria A Report On Horror

SANA via AP


UNHCR and other humanitarian actors remain prepared and anxious to aid hundreds of thousands of people who are trapped in desperate need in Eastern Ghouta as well as other besieged parts of the country. As Grandi said:


“Even in war, there are rules that all sides must respect. In Syria, even the option to flee conflict areas for safety in other parts of the country is diminishing. Humanitarian access to those in need must be guaranteed. People must be allowed to leave to seek refuge, and civilians and civilian infrastructure including hospitals and schools must be protected at all costs.”

Meanwhile, the dangerous situation inside the country’s borders dashes the hopes of millions of Syrian refugees who live in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq and the dream of returning home when things are safe.


“With fighting in parts of Syria as fierce as at any point during the conflict, refugees are understandably still too frightened to return,” Grandi said. UNHCR is preparing to assist in returns. However, the security measures need to improve considerably before returns can take place.


Moreover, the conditions for millions of Syrians in exile now grow more desperate, as the vast majority now lives below the poverty line. Over three-quarters of refugees in urban areas of Jordan and Lebanon can't meet their basic food, shelter, health or education needs.


The percentage of refugee kids in school has raised in recent years. Nevertheless, of the 1.7 million school-aged Syrian refugees, 43% are still out of school. The national public school systems in host countries lay on second shifts to accommodate Syrian students and need much more assistance.


Seven Years Of War In Syria A Report On Horror

AP Photo/Hussein Malla


“While the focus is on the devastation inside Syria, we should not forget the impact on the host communities in the neighboring countries and the effect that so many years of exile has had on refugees,” Grandi added. “As long as there is no political solution to the conflict, the international community must step up its investment in the host countries.”


The High Commissioner pointed to the upcoming international conference on Supporting the Future of Syria, and the Region in Brussels on 24 and 25 April 2018, which he said has to lead to firm pledges of stepped-up financial and development support.


Over the years, donor support has been generous. However, much more is needed. In December 2017, United Nations agencies and some 270 NGO partners released the 2018 Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), a US$4.4 billion plan that is designed to support refugees and members of the communities hosting them. However, the gap between the needs and available resources is still wide. In 2017, the international response received only half of the required funding.


The High Commissioner is now in Lebanon, where he spent three days meeting with senior government officials and some of the almost one million registered Syrian refugees living there. He praised Lebanon’s generosity in hosting nearly the same number of Syrians as the whole of Europe combined. However, he warned that inadequate international support was raising vulnerability among refugees and the local communities where they live.


Reference: UNCHR

Seven Years Of War In Syria: A Report On Horror Seven Years Of War In Syria: A Report On Horror Reviewed by Katerina Pap on 8:17 AM Rating: 5

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