News / Middle East

International Community Struggles to Ease Syrian Suffering

International Community Struggles to Ease Syrian Sufferingi
X
February 04, 2014 10:22 AM
As each day passes and the death toll rises, millions of Syrians are increasingly worried about their fate in a war with no end in sight. Experts who gathered in Washington recently wondered how long the international community will be able to support the humanitarian needs of the victims. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Mariama Diallo
As each day passes and the death toll rises, millions of Syrians are increasingly worried about their fate in a war with no end in sight. Experts who gathered in Washington recently wondered how long the international community will be able to support the humanitarian needs of the victims -- and Syria's neighbors will be willing to take them in.
 
Almost three years after the Syrian war broke out, there is no sign of it ending. While fighting continues, millions of civilians caught in the crossfire have been internally displaced or have taken refuge in neighboring countries. 
 
Although some thought the recent meeting in Geneva between the warring factions ended with little progress, U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said it laid a foundation for talks scheduled for February 10.   
 
“Progress is very slow indeed, but the sides have engaged in an acceptable manner,” said Brahimi.
 
However, while the peace talks were taking place in Geneva, U.N. Undersecretary General Jeffrey Feltman was discouraged.
 
"We are sobered by the reality that probably not a single civilian was saved this week through the talks in Geneva,” he said.
 
Feltman said he will start believing in these talks once they have an impact on the suffering.
 
"Unfortunately I must acknowledge that 10 days after Montreuil, we are still not there yet,” he said.
 
The U.S. State Department estimates more than nine million people are in need of assistance in Syria, with more than six million internally displaced and about 2.5 million refugees in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey. 
 
USAID administrator Rajiv Shah, who just returned from Lebanon and Jordan, testified to the enormity of the situation.
 
"In Lebanon one out of every five people is from Syria… In Jordan, the influx has been so significant, it is as if the entire population of Canada moved into the United States in the last 18 months," Shah said.
 
Shah said the scale of this crisis is unmatched, and while the United States has led the world in providing nearly $3 billion in humanitarian and developmental assistance, it is time for the war to stop.
 
"All the programs and humanitarian assistance of the world are not going to change the dynamic.  You are going to need some kind of a political settlement,” he said.
 
The problem of access also presents a huge challenge for humanitarian workers.
 
“Without access, money means nothing,” said Encho Gospodinov, the European Commission’s Special Advisor.
 
Gospodinov said it's frustrating to sit on trucks full of food and medicine and not be able to deliver it.  He also pointed out that providing education for the Syrian children living in camps is as important as trying to feed them.

You May Like

Multimedia In US, Decision Expected Soon in Racially Charged Case

Missouri town, many Americans on edge over whether jurors will indict white police officer in August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid