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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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 Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid