Syria Crisis: David Ray testifies before U.S. Congress on humanitarian crisis

Syria Crisis: David Ray testifies before U.S. Congress on humanitarian crisis

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WASHINGTON-(October 8, 2015)-- CARE’s Vice President of Advocacy, David Ray testified before U.S. Congress in the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa today. He talked to the Congressional subcommittee about the harsh realities facing the millions of Syrian refugees and displaced inside Syria, the impacts on women and girls and what the U.S. government and international community can do to alleviate the suffering of civilians.

“We must remember that women and girls face particular protection challenges in any crisis, and Syria is no different. Inside Syria, the war has increased the levels of domestic violence and harassment faced by women as well as early marriage among girls. Once women and girls flee the violence in Syria, they still face many of these same grave protection concerns. According to a report released by CARE this past May, child marriages among the Syrian population in Jordan have drastically increased as families seek to protect their daughters within the institution of marriage and secure the financial  help marriage can provide the girl and her family .  In 2011, 12% of registered Syrian marriages involved a girl aged 15 to 17; by 2013, this percentage has risen to as high as 25%. Similar trends have been observed in other host countries.

The United States must ensure that protection needs of women and girls are included in all short and longer term assistance provided both inside Syria and in the region, including measures to protect against gender-based violence and other actions that put them at risk, like child marriage. We must also ensure that all survivors of gender-based violence have immediate access to care and services,” Ray said.

In response to the Syria Crisis, CARE has reached nearly 1.3 million people in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Yemen, and those displaced inside Syria with emergency assistance and solutions for coping with the longer term crisis.

CARE provides emergency cash assistance, psychosocial support, information, referrals, and strengthens water supply and sewage systems, so both Syrian refugees and host families’ lives are improved. Inside Syria, CARE delivers food and emergency supplies to families, and emergency medical equipment and support for women. We also work through partners to provide families with livelihoods support, microfinance and psychosocial support.

Click here to read David Ray’s full testimony or watch online here.