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Statement

The image of a young boy reawakens the world to the most innocent victims of Syrian war: children

  • One of a handful of providers of aid inside Syria, the IRC calls for pause in fighting to get aid to those who need it most.
  • 6 million children remain in need in Syria.

Mark Schnellbaecher, International Rescue Committee’s regional director for Syria regional response, said:

“Today’s suspension of the U.N. taskforce inside Syria means that the humanitarian community won’t be able to reach children like Omran Dagneesh, the five-year old boy whose image today re-awakened the world to the horrors of the Syria conflict. If the call for a 48-hour pause in fighting over Aleppo is agreed, it would allow some medicine and food aid to get in but it will not be sufficient to meet the needs of 2 million people trapped in the city.

“Into its sixth year this war has resulted in 400,000 deaths, left 13.5 million in need of aid, including 6 million children. Last year it took the shocking image of three-year-old Alan Kurdi to finally wake the world up to the reality of the refugee crisis. Today, the image of Omran is again stirring people worldwide to demand an end to the conflict.”

The International Rescue Committee has been responding to the Syria crisis since 2012. In 2015, nearly 2,000 IRC workers helped more than 1.4 million Syrians inside their country, this included 670,000 people treated in around 100 IRC supported clinics and mobile health teams, helping 16,000 female survivors of assault and abuse find safety and support providing an education and support to over 8,400 children and parents. The IRC also supported 11,000 Syrians to get vital documents to move more freely and access services, as well as provide thousands of Syrians supported with IRC job training and cash or voucher support to help them buy food and other essential items for their family. 

 

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About the IRC

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 29 U.S. cities 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.