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Human Appeal welcomes pledges on Syria, but calls for more to be done against war crimes

Human Appeal, a humanitarian aid agency based in Greater Manchester, have announced that whilst they welcome the $6billion pledged to help Syrians in the conference held in Brussels this week, events occurring on the ground show that more needs to be done to prevent suffering and loss of life.

Human Appeal is one of the leading providers of aid in Syria and are renowned for their work such as their flour distribution project, which supplies food to 200,000 Syrians every month and running a paediatric and gynaecological hospital in Aleppo which offers critical maternity and child healthcare to 20,000 Syrians every month. The charity also helps run schools, provides ambulances, improves access to clean water and provides shelter for displaced people fleeing conflict areas. Human Appeal have called on international governments to join together to ensure:

  • A more principled approach is taken when monitoring war crimes.
  • More investment is concentrated in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon – the three countries which have taken most of the refugees from Syria.
  • It is made easier for humanitarian aid to travel throughout Syria.
  • Greater protection for humanitarian aid workers.
  • Every Syrian child has access to full-time education.
  • More is done to help and host the Syrians who have fled to Europe.

Othman Moqbel, the Chief Executive of Human Appeal, said: “Whilst we welcome the billions pledged to help Syria, a lot more needs to be done. $6billion won’t stop this conflict. Firstly, the international community needs to assure Syirans, following the atrocious chemical attacks that are being reported, that the international community is monitoring war crimes. There is evidence alleging that civilians, many of them children, were the victims of a chemical weapon attack. If true, this is a breach of international humanitarian law and should be treated as such.

“Turkey, as a country, is hosting more Syrian refugees than all of Europe combined, one in five people living in Lebanon is a refugee and over 25% of the national budget in Jordan is spent on refugees – more needs to be done to help these countries. If we don’t want people risking their lives by trying to cross seas in makeshift boats or putting their lives into the hands of people smugglers – this is essential.

“And, for those that do arrive in Europe, much more needs to be done to help and host them. Our nations shouldn’t see helping people in need, forced to flee their homeland in fear of their lives as a chore – but a duty to humanity. Something to be proud of. Too often nations justify helping refugees by framing it as it being in their national interest. We should encourage nations to think more in terms of what is in their interest of humanity.

“For most organisations, if they and their work were being targeted by airstrikes on a regular basis they would either move their location of work or just stop all together. The fact that Human Appeal has not only continued to operate in such conditions in Syria, but has grown our operation there, speaks not only of Human Appeal staff’s unwavering commitment to provide aid to where it is needed most, but the desperation for basic necessities of Syrians within their country and the demand and generosity of our donors to meet their needs. It is essential that more is done to protect those who are only in Syria to save lives; humanitarian workers need protection.

“Before the conflict, Syria was a proud middle-income country, its population was among the most highly educated in the region. The conflict looks set to bring a different future for the generations to come. Human Appeal are providing projects to help the endless numbers of children inside Syria or in refugee camps who have no access to any education and millions more with limited access. This year, we must deliver on our word and get every Syrian child in to full-time education, it is after all, their human right.”

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