—As a leading aid agency responding on the ground to the Syrian crisis, World Vision urges all parties, inside and outside Syria – including those in Northern Ireland where the G8 Leaders will meet today—to find a peaceful end to the conflict and ramp up the urgent humanitarian response. The aid and development agency has been responding to the crisis since 2011 and works with more and more children every day who are suffering the effects of the Syrian war.
What the G8 must do for the children of Syria today:
• Leverage its collective responsibility and influence to promote a peaceful resolution of the conflict to prevent further killing of civilians.
• Provide generous humanitarian support to affected children, women and communities in Syria and refugee hosting countries.
• Call on all parties to the conflict to provide aid organizations, and Syrian civilians, with safe and unimpeded access to ensure Syrian children and families can get out of harm’s way and humanitarian organizations can get in to reach those in dire need, in accordance with international humanitarian law. This includes access from across the borders of neighbouring states.
Comments from Canada and the Middle East:
“The G8 foreign ministers recently stated that if it’s found that chemical weapons have been used, there will be a demand for a ‘serious international response’. But the fact that those caught on the frontlines, many of whom are children, are suffering injury, torture, death and serious depravation must be reason enough to constitute a serious international response with an immediate and peaceful resolution of the conflict and generous humanitarian help for Syrians inside and across borders where refugees are in dire straits,” says Jonathan Papoulidis, World Vision Canada’s senior policy advisor for peacebuilding and humanitarian affairs.
“Parents tell us that their children wake screaming in the middle of the night; that they wet their beds and jump in fright if there is a loud noise or a plane flying overhead,” says Conny Lenneberg, World Vision’s director in the Middle East. “We hear their dreadful stories about seeing their friends and relatives killed; about losing their homes, and being too afraid to go to school.”
• More than 90,000 people have been killed in Syria, and many of them were children.
• World Vision has provided assistance to over 80,000 Syrians in Lebanon, and plans to double the number receiving assistance over the next six months.
• The UN estimates 6.8 million Syrians are in need of aid, including 4.25 million internally displaced persons. An additional 1.6 million refugees have fled to neighbouring countries, such as Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.
• The UN appeal for $4 billion for Syria and the region, the largest in its history, remains drastically underfunded.
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World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.