After a decade of conflict millions of Syrians have been pushed towards deeper poverty and are struggling to survive
For ten years, the Syrian population has endured untold loss, suffering, and endless destruction. Ten years of conflict, with little end in sight, compounded by a rapidly deteriorating socio-economic situation continues to take an enormous toll on the population.
The numbers exemplify the stark reality of what life is like right now in Syria. Since the conflict began, 6.5 million women, men, and children have been displaced inside Syria. Another 5.5 million have fled, seeking refuge in neighbouring countries and beyond. Two million children cannot go to school. The impact of sanctions imposed on Syria has had a devastating effect on the well-being and food security of Syrians in general, with basic food items rising sharply last year. Today, every second person in Syria can’t access or afford enough food with more than 12 million people now considered food insecure.
It is now more than ever, that Syrians need safe access to humanitarian aid. Yet the reality is that access restrictions and constraints remain a huge challenge for all humanitarian actors. We need to ensure that all parties to the conflict respect International Humanitarian Law.
As an elected member of the UN Security Council, we count on Ireland, who along with Norway plays a crucial role in leading the negotiations on the Syrian cross-border humanitarian file. At a minimum, maintaining the humanitarian corridor between Turkey and Northwest Syria is crucial.
We recognize that the provision of humanitarian and financial aid represents an essential lifeline for millions of people across Syria. We know that investment will be required over the years to come. Regardless, humanitarian aid alone is not enough nor is it the solution in ending the suffering and conflict in Syria. Concerted efforts are required to find a political resolution to end the fighting.
If a political solution isn’t found soon, the consequences of the Syrian crisis will continue to reverberate far beyond the initial tragedy of violence.