We have met in Geneva today, for our regular twice-yearly discussion of the major humanitarian challenges facing the world. Yemen was first and foremost in our talks. We are alarmed at the dramatic deterioration in the situation over recent months. Millions of lives are now at serious risk.
We live in a world where conflicts, natural disasters and disease are driving ever greater numbers of people to seek desperate remedies for their hunger, safety and survival. The world has never been so wealthy and yet on the frontline of humanitarian action, where courageous work is taking place daily, the lack of available resources to save lives is a constantly growing risk. This massive, deepening deficit requires an ambitious, global and collective response.
More than 100 humanitarian agencies call for immediate and sustained access in Syria.
As the parties to the conflict in Syria resume talks to end a war that now enters its sixth horrific year, there is renewed hope for peace. For an end to the suffering of millions of the innocent.
After five years of a brutal and senseless conflict over a quarter of a million Syrians have been killed and over half the population forced from their homes out of fear and want. Some 4.6 million people are barely existing in places that few can leave and aid cannot reach. A further 4.8 million people have fled the country. Syria today is a very different place – almost unrecognizable in parts – that will take generations to rebuild.
More than 120 humanitarian organizations and United Nations agencies issued a joint appeal today urging the world to raise their voices and call for an end to the Syria crisis and to the suffering endured by millions of civilians. The appeal also outlines a series of immediate, practical steps that can improve humanitarian access and the delivery of aid to those in need inside Syria.