CARE welcomes the announcement of a new ceasefire in Aleppo this morning. For the sake of the civilians, we ask the parties to make sure that this ceasefire lasts for much longer than just a few hours. There have been many disappointments over promises made during the past few days and weeks. Parties to the conflict can’t toy with the life and hopes of hundreds of thousands of civilians.
There are reports on the Syrian government and its allies hindering the evacuation process, including that of the wounded. The evacuation seems to be happening but not as urgently as it needs to be.
We call on the UN and its partners to urgently prepare to meet the needs of evacuees. Civilians from Aleppo have been deprived from everything. They will need shelter, food, medicine. They have suffered from atrocities and are traumatized. They will also need psyco-social support. We call on a rapid coordination of the humanitarian actors working in this region, and for immediate access to those in need.
We should keep in mind that this evacuation agreement cannot erase months of illegal besiegement as well as years of brutal, indiscriminate bombing. The violations of international humanitarian laws must stop now. Today it is Aleppo, tomorrow it might be another Syrian city. Hundreds of thousands more of civilians could be targeted, injured, and killed. It can’t continue like this.
With the European Council meeting today, we call on the European governments to state affirmatively that there will be consequences for war crimes committed by all parties to the conflict in Syria. Atrocities have continued on an unprecedented scale in Aleppo and will happen again in other parts of Syria unless there is urgent action from the international community that it cannot tolerate the inhumane situation in Syria anymore.
Holly Frew, Emergency Communications Manager, CARE USA, email@example.com, +1 770 842 6188
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. To learn more, visit www.care.org.