OTTAWA, Oct. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - The International Red Cross and Red
Crescent Movement calls on all parties to the conflict in Syria to
respect the work of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and to guarantee
the safety of aid workers and their unimpeded, immediate access to
people in need across Syria. We also call on all those who have an
influence on the ground to help us ensure aid can reach those most in
Because at least 9 million Syrians, half of whom are children, continue
to suffer the devastating consequences of an armed conflict that has
been tearing the country apart for over two years. The humanitarian
tragedy that continues unabated in Syria today is unacceptable. In
particular, more must be done to ensure aid reaches the neediest.
Because 22 Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers have been killed and many
more injured, kidnapped or detained while carrying out their
Because, to effectively respond to the immense humanitarian needs, Red
Cross and Red Crescent teams must be granted safer, quicker and
unimpeded access to those in need across the country and at all times.
Beyond safe access, increased support is also needed to be able to
assist the more than 2.5 million people in dire need each month.
Because in Syria, now more than ever, as the International Red Cross and
Red Crescent Movement celebrates 150 years of humanitarian action, its
Fundamental Principles - in particular humanity, neutrality,
impartiality and independence - must be fully respected and upheld in
order to ensure access to people in need.
More than 100,000 people have reportedly been killed. Hundreds more are
dying on a daily basis or struggling with injuries or illnesses, while
critical health-care services have been crippled by acute shortages of
medical personnel and supplies and by deliberate attacks on health
workers and facilities.
In violence-stricken areas, the breakdown of essential services, such as
electricity and water supplies and garbage collection, has added to the
misery. Many people struggle to make it through the day because of
intense fighting and a severely weakened economy, and are completely
dependent on the generosity of fellow Syrians and on humanitarian aid.
Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers and staff need to have more and
safer access to those most in need in Syria. Intentional targeting of
aid workers, who play no part in the conflict and who simply seek to
help those most in need, is unacceptable. It is essential that the
parties to the conflict in Syria protect Syrian Arab Red Crescent
volunteers and all other personnel affiliated with the International
Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and allow them to work in safety.
SOURCE: Canadian Red Cross
For further information:
Canadian Red Cross
National Media Line: 613-740-1994