CARE International: "Cessation of hostilities" in Syria welcome, but at what price?

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CARE International recognises the announcement of the “cessation of hostilities” in the Syrian civil war, but waiting one week to act could result in massive civilian casualties and immense numbers of displaced people with no chance of returning home. Millions of civilians have borne the brunt of this war and are in dire need of lifesaving assistance, particularly in besieged areas.

The commitments by international powers to allow immediate humanitarian access to besieged communities and to end hostilities is progress but immediate implementation must be assured. There can be no progress without action evident on the ground.

CARE would welcome immediate full humanitarian access, the end of all sieges, and attacks on civilian infrastructure such as hospitals and schools. These would be important first steps to alleviating the long suffering of innocent Syrians. But international powers and warring parties must make good on these promises. Otherwise, what appears to be a step towards peace could only intensify suffering.