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Wednesday March 15
On the sixth anniversary of the start of the Syrian Civil War, Christian Aid has called on world leaders to act now to end the conflict.
The war, between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and its allies, rebel groups, so-called Islamic State and other factions, has so far cost the lives of nearly half a million people, including around 100,000 civilians; and led to an estimated 7.6 million people being internally displaced and nearly 5 million becoming refugees.
Frances Guy, Head of Middle East at Christian Aid, said: “Today, six years on, we owe Syrians under siege and under fire, the respect of remembering their daily horrors and urging world leaders to put in that extra effort to bring an end to this suffering.
“Six years of brutal civil war, that has left millions of people stranded in hard to reach areas. Six years during which the world has watched the medieval tactics of siege and starvation.
“Six years where children have not been to school, where neighbouring countries have strained to match the demands on their hospitality that the rest of the world tries to ignore. And still there are new stories to tell and still the daily hardships continue.
“The current ceasefire is clearly not working. Syria and the world needs a real ceasefire to help all Syrians breathe a little.”
According to the United Nations 13.5 million people require humanitarian assistance, including 4.6 million people in need trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas.
Just in the last few weeks an intensification of bombing and military campaigns to towns north east of Damascus has forced tens of thousands of people to flee under heavy bombardment.
A Christian Aid partner described the events in one town in rural Damascus: “Around 20,000 people fled in two weeks. After five years they have moved a lot, those who fled in these last weeks have already moved three times before. You become a nomad, you flee for your life. But it is not like you go to a safer place – you flee, come back home if it is safe, and if not you keep on moving. At the end of the day, there is nothing bright on the horizon.”
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