Fraying lifeline: Syria's humanitarian aid at risk without global support, says ICRC
Syria’s humanitarian aid lifeline is at risk, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Monday, urging the world to step up its support for the war-torn country.
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After withstanding a dozen years of ceaseless strife, Syria finds itself at the mercy of a dire confluence of crises that require global aid, said Fabrizio Carboni, ICRC’s regional director for the Near and Middle East.
Not only has the war led to a severe humanitarian crisis, but last month’s devastating earthquake that ravaged north-west Syria and the severe shortage of water have exacerbated an already dire situation.
“Millions of people in Syria today depend on humanitarian assistance. That lifeline is dangerously at risk of fraying if the international community does not support Syria to the level that it needs,” Carboni said.
“Syria deserves the world’s solidarity and support. People have survived 12 years of grinding conflict in which people lost loved ones, livelihoods, and homes. For those in northwest of the country, the earthquake that struck last month left communities shaken and triggered a new wave of devastation.”
Carboni’s comments come ahead of the Syria/Turkey earthquake pledging conference which is set to take place in Brussels on Monday.
The combined death toll of the earthquake in Syria and Turkey has climbed to more than 54,000.
The quake also caused $5.1 billion in direct physical damage in Syria and $100 billion in Turkey.
“More families are struggling to have enough to eat in a country that is already listed among the world’s most food insecure. People increasingly struggle to have safe drinking water as more than 50 percent of Syria’s water and sanitation systems no longer fully function. Many do not have access to medical care,” Carboni added in a statement on Monday.
He added that the ICRC’s work in Syria is “heavily under-funded.”
“Last year, it was our most under-funded operation globally. Our hope is that donors increase their support so that communities in Syria receive the help they need and deserve.”
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