As Syria enters its second decade of an amplified conflict, displacing more than five million, and leaving nearly half a million casualties during its course, officials from the Red Crescent and Red Cross have stated at this precise moment, Syria’s state is officially worse than it has ever been since 2011.
Khaled Hboubati, the President of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, shared his thoughts on the matter and said:
“Continuing hostilities, a downward economic spiral, a refugee crisis that has reverberated around the world, and the COVID-19 pandemic have conspired to push Syrian people to unacceptable extremes. For a decade now, people in Syria have been living in agony. As we speak, more than 13 million people need at least one type of assistance and about 8 million people are unable to respond to their basic needs.”
Approximately around 90% of the Syrian population currently live beneath the poverty line, with estimates reaching around 60% of the population not having been granted proper safe and vital food necessities for their well-being. Undoubtedly, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the matters in an already crisis-stricken environment.
President of the ICRC, Peter Mauer, shared his concerns regarding the current state of Syria in which he said that at this pace, the Syrian people will not be able to endure just one more year of the ongoing conflict and that the only exit strategy on this matter is a mutual and final political agreement on ending it.
The Red Crescent Society has played a vital role in delivering much-needed aid for the people in Syria, who have successfully distributed around 60% of the aid to the citizens, and who knows how this conflict would have played out if they had never played their role or intervened with their humanitarian services. Unfortunately, 65 volunteers from the Syrian Red Crescent and eight from the Palestinian Red Crescent have died during the conflict up till now.
Maurer urged the need for respect and acknowledgment for the implementation of international humanitarian law, revolving around the legal as well as moral commitments in ensuring that the Red Cross/Red Crescent organizations be permitted to enter areas to deliver their aid, which would serve as a violation of Article 23 of the 1949 Geneva Convention. In addition, civilians must be protected at all costs as well as guaranteeing the proper treatment of detainees throughout the armed conflict.
As of now, 5.3 million Syrians have fled their war-torn country and found refuge mainly in Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt. The need for more donations is more desperate now than ever, especially towards the Syrian Red Crescent. Without their humanitarian aid and efforts, the numbers of those who would have either died from starvation or go hungry every month would be reaching in the millions. In the past, governments have donated to such organizations but the Red Cross/Red Crescent have noticed a major decline in financial support today.