Along with all Canadians, it is with immense sorrow and concern that the Humanitarian Coalition and its member agencies have observed the ever increasing challenges faced by the Syrian people since conflict first broke out in 2011. This week, the story and images three-year-old Alan Kurdi, drowned along with his brother and mother this week are moving and galvanizing reaction around the world. This serves as a stark reminder of the heart-wrenching plight of separated families throughout the region.
Although the situation on the ground is complex and dangerous, the humanitarian community is undeterred in our efforts to provide assistance to affected civilians, a large proportion of who are children.
As the days of conflict draw on, so does the number of people in need continue to rise. Latest estimates are that over 7 million Syrians are today displaced in their own country and more than 2.5 million people have crossed the border in search of safety in neighbouring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. While many live today in refugee camps and thousands are attempting to reach asylum in Europe and elsewhere, many more are in host communities in the region, where resources are scarce and overpopulation is causing significant hardship.
Ever since the start of the conflict, Humanitarian Coalition members have been on the ground dispensing vital supplies such as water, food, blankets, and medicines. But current funding levels are not sufficient to meet the growing demand for emergency services.
Today, we continue to encourage all institutional donors and individual Canadians to give what they can to help the people of Syria. We also call on all parties to the conflict to ensure that the delivery of humanitarian assistance not be hindered in any way so that vulnerable populations can have access to essential aid.
Finally, it is our sincere hope that a political solution will be found soon and that we will not have to mark a fifth anniversary of the Syrian in March 2016.