News / Middle East

    Aid Agency Seeks More Assistance for Syrians

    Two workers unload boxes of aid inside a warehouse at the Mrajeeb Al Fhood refugee camp for Syrian refugees, 20 kilometers east of the city of Zarqa, Jordan, April 29, 2013.
    Two workers unload boxes of aid inside a warehouse at the Mrajeeb Al Fhood refugee camp for Syrian refugees, 20 kilometers east of the city of Zarqa, Jordan, April 29, 2013.
    Selah Hennessy
    The international aid charity Oxfam says the U.N. Security Council should use its influence to improve humanitarian access in Syria. The charity says the council should urge Syrian government and opposition groups to make sure aid is reaching civilians.

    Oxfam says getting humanitarian assistance into Syria could mean allowing aid to cross lines of control and cross-borders from neighboring countries.

    Oxfam's humanitarian coordinator for the Middle East, Pauline Ballaman, said from neighboring Jordan that nearly 7 million people inside Syria are in need of aid.

    “It is becoming critical that we can have access to those populations where they are and that humanitarian assistance can be provided to them - both to ensure that their needs are met where they are, but also to try to reduce the outflow of refugees to neighboring countries, which are really struggling to support them,” said Ballaman.

    Refugee camps beyond capacity

    The countries that neighbor Syria have been hit with an onslaught of refugees since the crisis began more than two years ago. An estimated 1.3-million Syrian refugees are living in neighboring countries and refugee camps are stretched to their limits.

    Earlier this month, U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos urged the Security Council to grant aid agencies cross-border access to Syria and pleaded for council members to “take the action necessary to end this brutal conflict.”

    Syria’s U.N. ambassador Bashar Jaafari responded by saying that protecting civilians is the exclusive responsibility of the Syrian government. He said calls for humanitarian intervention, including no-fly zones and humanitarian corridors, were attempts to justify interference in Syria’s domestic affairs.
     
    The Security Council says the escalating violence is “unacceptable” and "condemned the widespread violations of human rights by the Syrian authorities, as well as any human-rights abuses by armed groups."

    Donors urgently needed

    Oxfam’s Ballaman said aid groups are raising the alarm over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria and calling for more funding.

    “We really need international community countries, donors, to step up and to enable us to be able to respond in the way that we would expect to," she said. "At the moment the funding is not enabling us to do what we would expect to do in this kind of crisis.”

    But London-based analyst David Hartwell, with IHS Jane’s, said that international calls for increased humanitarian assistance for Syrians are falling on deaf ears.

    “The plight of the civilians is currently of a lesser consideration than the issues of power politics and terrorism,” he said.

    Oxfam says three months after $1.5 billion was pledged by international donors for the United Nation’s to help Syrians, just more than half of the money has been received. Much of that, it says, has come from Gulf countries.

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora