We must take the chance to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria

Publié: 21 janvier 2014 12:20 CET

By Bekele Geleta, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies 

As the world turns its attention to Montreux, Switzerland for the Geneva II talks this Wednesday, our concern, first and foremost, is for the Syrian people and the desperate humanitarian crisis they are facing. 

Living conditions remain dire for more than 9 million people in Syria and a further than 2.2 million refugees in surrounding countries. Basic life-sustaining needs may not be met in coming months if solutions are not found urgently. Food shortages have become the greatest concern for Syrian families. Three years of conflict have exhausted nearly all support systems and human coping mechanisms: from personal savings to family cohesion and psychosocial well-being.

At the Second UN Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait City last week, the Secretary General of the United-Nations, Ban Ki Moon, paid tribute to those working to alleviate the suffering in Syria, making particular mention of the Red Pillar (the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement at large: National Societies, the IFRC and the ICRC) and honoured the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and its dedicated volunteers, 34 of whom have died carrying out their humanitarian duties during the conflict.  

At this occasion, we renewed our commitment to assist over 6 million people and to meet their growing needs over the winter period, and called for support to the Red Pillar in the Syria crisis to help us reach into the most remote and underserved communities through the unique network of Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers. See: 

 As parties to the Syria conflict assemble for Geneva II Peace Conference, we call on them to take into account the plight of all Syrians when envisioning the future. And we’re calling upon all world leaders and all parties involved in the Syrian conflict to ensure the safety of aid workers and volunteers so that assistance can reach those most in need.

As we said in Kuwait: “Without our collective resolve and action in the region, and beyond the region, any hope for individual and community recovery will be in vain, and a lost generation will indeed have been created. Witnessed by today’s world – by our generation, on our watch.”