(June 7, 2013) – A group of 21 international aid agencies working in six countries directly affected by the Syrian crisis calls on the international community to dig deep and be generous in responding to the UN’s new Syria and refugee response appeals, being launched today.
While the priority must be to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis, the need for humanitarian aid keeps spiralling as the conflict escalates and threatens stability in neighboring countries, the members of the Syria INGO Regional Forum (SIRF) said today.
Hugh Fenton, chair of the Syrian INGO Regional Forum, said: “The Syrian crisis is our largest challenge as humanitarian agencies worldwide. We are trying to help millions of people. The frustrations of knowing that many people are unable to access the aid they need is indescribable. Many people are trapped by violence or such insecurity that we cannot reach them. Others are made invisible by the sheer numbers of refugees living in host communities in neighboring countries and are still unclear on the true scale of the need.”
Donors have a critical role to play in ensuring people can get the assistance, the help and vital services they have a right to.
Committed funds not just pledges are needed to meet the growing needs of people across Syria, as well as refugees and host communities. SIRF also calls on donors to channel funds through a variety of mechanisms including national and international nongovernmental organizations, UN agencies and host governments to ensure that aid is delivered effectively.
SIRF reminds donors and host governments that humanitarian aid must be based solely on humanitarian principles. SIRF calls on donors to ensure that funding is impartial and driven by an independent assessment of need. Donor governments should not prioritize one group over another for a similar level of need. For instance, organizations are hearing reports that the needs of Palestinian, Iraqis, Sudanese, and Lebanese refugees fleeing Syria are not being fully addressed.
Donors must not allow bureaucratic impediments, such as delays in formal registration, to hinder the delivery of aid. The pressing humanitarian needs must take precedence over rigid donor requirements so that aid reaches those who need it as soon as possible.
SIRF welcomes the inclusion of the governments of Lebanon and Jordan in the appeal, given the generosity of governments hosting refugees and recognizing the burden this support places on countries’ basic services and systems.
“Hospitality and generosity towards neighbors and strangers alike are hallmarks of the region,” Fenton said. “The humanitarian community must reciprocate Jordan’s and Lebanon’s generosity to make sure this regional tragedy doesn’t further burden the very countries that have welcomed refugees with open arms.”
Note to editors
For more information, please contact:
- Adel Sarkozi, CARE: +962779967772, Sarkozi@careinternational.org
- Ned Colt, IRC: +962775066652, Ned.Colt@rescue.org
- Iben de Neergaard, DRC: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Maurizio Mascia, PU-AMI: +962795349110, email@example.com
- Mike Bailey, World Vision International: +96273445410, firstname.lastname@example.org
For interviews, please contact:
- Hugh Fenton, DRC, Chair of SIRF (English interviews): +962 796387798, +964 7819851830
- Thierry-Mehdi Benlahsen, Handicap International, board member of SIRF (French interviews): +961 787195596
- Claire Seaward, Oxfam, board member of SIRF (English interviews): +962 776738595, +44 7827270724
Syria INGO Regional Forum has members responding to the Syrian crisis in Syria and neighboring countries. These include: Action Aid, CARE, Danish Church Aid, Danish Refugee Council, Handicap International, HelpAge International, Intersos, International Medical Corps, International Catholic Migration Commission, International Rescue Committee, Medair, Medecins du Monde, Mennonite Central Committee, Oxfam, Premire Urgence – Aide Mdicale Internationale, Relief International, Save the Children, War Child, World Vision and Un Ponte Per.