Syrian Crisis: “The Biggest Humanitarian Challenge We Face Worldwide”

We join other aid organizations in a call for international support for Syrian refugees.
A town in Syria damaged by conflict. Photo: B. Riesco, ACF-Syria.
A town in Syria damaged by conflict. Photo: B. Riesco, ACF-Syria.

Today is World Refugee Day—a time to recognize the struggle of families who have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict or disaster. Action Against Hunger works to restore stability for countless refugees across the globe, including those who have fled Syria in recent months because of growing conflict. In order to best serve affected populations in the region, we have joined a group of 20 humanitarian organizations urging the international community to offer generous support in response to the United Nations’ call for aid on behalf of Syria and Syrian refugees. 

A political solution to the Syrian crisis remains a priority for global leaders, who discussed it at length at this week’s G8 Summit. But concurrently, the need for humanitarian assistance is increasing as the conflict escalates. Members of the International NGO Regional Forum in Syria (SIRF) expressed the urgent need for funding for Syria and neighboring countries that are supporting large populations of refugees:

“The Syrian crisis is the biggest challenge we face as humanitarian agencies worldwide. We are trying to help millions of people. The frustration of knowing that many people are unable to access the help they need is indescribable. Many people are trapped by violence or a level of insecurity that prevents us from reaching them. Others are made invisible by the huge number of refugees who are living in neighboring countries, whose real level of needs is not yet clear.”
– Hugh Fenton, Chair of the Syrian INGO Regional Forum

Funding is critical to meet the urgent needs of people who remain within Syria’s borders, the refugee populations that have fled, and even the host communities absorbing refugees in neighboring countries. The SIRF Chairman Hugh Fenton applauds the efforts of countries such as Lebanon, where our staff is currently working to address the needs of both refugees and the host population. Fenton says, “The humanitarian community must reciprocate the generosity of Jordan and Lebanon to ensure that this regional tragedy brings no additional burden to the countries receiving refugees with open arms.”

To ensure that aid is delivered effectively, the SIRF asks donors to give funds through a variety of channels, including national and international NGOs, UN agencies, and host governments. The SIRF also urges donors to distribute funding equally to all populations in need, regardless of nationality, creed, or political affiliation.

As we and our fellow humanitarian organizations call for more aid, we will continue our work on the ground to support the populations in Syria and surrounding countries that are affected by the crisis. You can support our efforts by making a donation in honor of those who need it most on World Refugee Day.

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Why is it important to provide humanitarian assistance to anyone in need, regardless of their religious, ethnic, or political affiliation?