Press Statement – Istanbul Wednesday 19th Feb 2020
We are a group of Syrian NGOs represented by SNA (Syrian NGO Alliance) call for immediate action in response to recent ongoing escalation which has been going on since 1st December 2019
The current displacement saw over 900,000 civilians according to Mr Mark Lowcock (Under Secretary-General Emergency Relief Coordinator), where 81% of them are women and children. Most of them have been displaced over three times in an area that host over 4 million IDPs %60 of those displaced are children
Existing camps are overcrowded, and shelter in existing houses is getting scarce, civilians have no option but to sleep in the open fields.
Disagreements between UN Security Council members should not affect civilians who are facing the “World’s biggest humanitarian horror stories” according to Mr. Lowcock
Syrian seems to be out of the agenda when World Leaders are meeting amidst minimum coverage
The wiping out, slaughtering and displacement of civilians should not happen
The world needs to wake up and stop the carnage
We are facing one of the worst protection crises and are dealing with a mass movement of IDPs who have nowhere to go after leaving all their belonging behind and escaping in seek of safety only to die from extreme weather conditions and lack of available resources.
Funding required to support the 900,000 displaced is over $ 336 M, only %20 of the needs are available, and currently, the UN only has $ 70 Mi, worth noting, this will only provide an essential response and not a luxurious intervention.
Basic needs cannot be met, and our response is not enough
Our appeal to World leaders, Donors and Politicians is to put an end to these violations, and support civilians displaced and stop attacks on Camps and Humanitarian facilities
The crisis in Syria is a Protection Crisis and bigger to that of Rohingya and different to that in Yemen where Cross-Line is not affected like is the case in Syria.
We currently have the following challenges:
– Access to people
– Civilians continuously being displaced due to ongoing attacks putting a strain on existing capabilities
– Losing track of humanitarian workers
– The well-being of Humanitarian Workers
– Dynamic changes require flexibility, we lack Donor flexibility with programming and implementation
– We may have to respond to the same beneficiaries more than once as a result of continued movement as they are having to leave all their belongings and run for their lives.
– Health facilities are a prime target and those facilities still operational cannot cope with the increased demand. Some facilities are having to see twice the number of patients and can not turn women & children away.
We currently have the following gaps:
– 900 K displaced for the 3rd, 4th & 5th time in need of assistance (158,212 families)
– 280 K school-aged children whose education has been impacted by ongoing displacement
– 185 K in need of additional food assistance
– 280 K in need of emergency shelter
– Protection services targeting the most vulnerable people, including women & children, should be scaled up. Psychosocial support is a priority.
For us to continue with our response, we have the following asks:
– Call for a complete ceasefire and stop human rights violations, which are on the increase, and we are not after ceasefires that gets washed away days later.
– Waring parties to provide safe access in cooperation with the UN, as of yesterday.
– Scale-up the response in line with the increased demand and displacement, so we meet basic shelter, food, healthcare & warmth needs
– We call for the formation of Emergency Call Groups with Donors to resolve issues relating to flexibility of programming
– We also call for Emergency Response Units similar to that adopted by ICRC which has a timely response, even this response which will take up to 72 hours is far too long with the crisis on hand
– As we are not in a position to stop deaths from happening, we are calling for help to reduce the number of lives to be lost. We have lost quite a few lives as a result of the nature of beneficiaries.
– Neighbouring countries and in specific Turkey should not take the burden with more Refugees at the same time; civilians have the right to live in their homes with dignity and without fear for their lives or to seek asylum in any third country to save their lives.