Syria Relief, the UK's largest Syria-focused NGO, have taken a full page in The Times tomorrow (Tuesday 10th February 2020) to tell the UK to stop getting angry about things "which don't really matter" and to be angry about the "escalating humanitarian catastrophe" in Idlib, Syria instead.
Since the start of December, hundreds of people in Idlib have been killed, over 600,000 have fled their homes, the victims are disproportionately women and children.
The letter is titled: "Whilst you are getting angry about things which don't really matter, women and children are being murdered in Idlib."
And it reads:
"Look, we know a lot of you feel very strongly about seeing Tracy Brabin's shoulder in Parliament, Vegan Sausage Rolls and Megxit, and we respect that, but we think your rage would be better directed elsewhere.
"The province of Idlib in Syria is currently home to 3 million people and it is in the midst of a humanitarian catastrophe. Since December 1st 2019, over 600,000 people have fled their homes and over 300 people have been killed. The victims are disproportionately women and children as hospitals, schools and civilian infrastructure are being hit. Isn't that more worthy of your anger?
"The frontline of this conflict is fast approaching the densely populated Idlib city, where hundreds of thousands of people will have to avoid the death and destruction that will rain down upon them.
"The people of Idlib are desperately in need of food, shelter, water, medical care and essential items due to the warzone economy making these basics completely unaffordable for most people in Idlib. Many of these people have been displaced by the fighting multiple times already.
"Syria Relief operates 162 schools across Northern Syria and we have had 6 of our schools hit by air strikes in as many months. The most recent one was on January 1st, a ballistic missile with a cluster warhead hit our school in Sarmin, Idlib at 11:45am (when school was in session) and killed 12 people, 5 of whom were children aged between 6 and 13. Doesn't that make you mad?
"The young victim was a 6-year-old boy. This war has been going on for nearly 9 years. This child knew of no life before this conflict and now he will know of no life after it. He was a little boy, at school, excited to play with his friends at the end of the lesson, preparing for his future. And then a missile took his future away. Do you think that is acceptable?
"We believe that, at this rate, Idlib will be the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, thousands will suffer and die, and nothing is being done to prevent it. Aren't you furious?
"So we're asking you to write to your MP, talk about it on social media, do anything, but whatever you do, please, get angry about Idlib."
Syria Relief end the piece by inviting readers to use the hashtag "#GetAngryAboutIdlib"
Charles Lawley, Syria Relief's Head of Advocacy, says:
"For a single charity to take up a full page of The Times, this is a dramatic step. But a needed step. Every day we see people get worked up about frivolous things, whilst a spiralling humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib goes ignored.
"The victims are disproportionately women and children, we have seen six of schools and three of our healthcare centres deliberately targeted in Idlib. We wouldn't stand for schools and hospitals being bombed and women and children being murdered in the UK, so why are we standing for it in Syria.
"We believe this will be the worst humanitarian crisis since the World War II, the only way we can stop this death toll is if the world listens, but no one is shouting."
NOTES TO EDITORS
Syria Relief are based in Denton, Greater Manchester and are the largest Syria-focused based NGO in the UK. Last year alone, Syria Relief distributed hundreds of millions worth of aid across Syria and helping approximately 3 million people in Syria. Their projects include:
* Running hospitals, mobile clinics, primary health centres, family planning clinics and prosthetic limbs centres, helping over 250,000 people
* Running 162 schools, giving over 55,500 children in Syria an education
* Providing vocation training, cash for work and small business support and rehabilitation of farming, raising livestock and water treatment, helping nearly 20,000 people
* Providing clean water facilities for over 1.5 million people
Syria Relief representatives are available for interview. Please contact Head of Advocacy & Public Relations Charles Lawley on firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> or call 07535 415 060
Media (stills, video and audio) are also available of Syria Relief's work, please contact Charles for details.
Images of previous attacks on Syria Relief facilities can be found in the following galleries: