New York, NY, March 30, 2017 — Reacting to the UN's announcement that the number of Syrian refugees in the region has hit 5 million, Tom Garofalo, Regional Director of Public Affairs at the International Rescue Committee said:
“The number of Syrian refugees in the region has hit 5 million, yet this figure fails to account for the 1.2 million people seeking safety in Europe and the 6.6 million internally displaced. Millions of lives have been, and continue to be, torn apart by this conflict.
With global leaders set to discuss the future of Syria as they meet in Brussels next week, it is vital they remember that this war isn’t over yet; the intensity of the conflict is still forcing 6,000 people to flee their homes every day, at least 600,000 people are living under siege across the country and millions more are in hard to reach areas with little or no access to humanitarian aid. For those who have left the country, many of whom are without access to education or jobs, it is vital we provide a life worth living.
The continued displacement and the ongoing attacks on people in schools, hospitals and markets throughout the country, prove that war rages on in Syria. Despite an ostensible ceasefire, Syria is not safe. Civilians and those who seek to assist them remain under threat. Now is not the time to talk about post-conflict reconstruction or returning refugees. Until the fighting ends, Syrians have no reason to hope for a better future for their country.”
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 28 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.