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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid