Failure in Syria must stop now

After the worst year of Syrian conflict, the international community must act more decisively

At the anniversary of the Syrian conflict, the civilians caught in the middle of the conflict are in a worse position than ever. Getty Images
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The Failing Syria report by 21 humanitarian and human rights organisations presented grim statistics about the situation in Syria and highlighted the world’s failure to stop the conflict, which enters its fifth year today, seemingly more complex and intractable than ever.

The report said that three 2014 UN Security Council resolutions on protecting civilians and improving the humanitarian response have failed to halt the intense violence and save the lives of innocent civilians. Instead, the opposite occurred: more people have been killed during the past year, with at least 76,000 out of a total of 220,000 since the crisis began, humanitarian access has faced more restrictions and the international aid contributions are lower in real terms than before and are chronically inadequate to meet people’s needs. Hopes of a political solution are also non-existent, with the collapse of Geneva II talks in February and the resignation of the UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in May.

All these findings indicate the international community has failed Syrian civilians caught up in the conflict. Organised attacks, murders, rapes, kidnappings and torture are increasingly carried out against wen, women and children by all sides of the conflict. Those who manage to flee the country now face more restrictions in neighbouring countries, making it increasingly difficult for them to seek refuge.

The international community’s approach to the conflict in Syria requires an urgent reassessment to prevent the situation becoming even worse. Swift action is required to implement the Security Council’s resolutions and push the warring parties towards a political solution.

In the meantime, humanitarian assistance must be scaled up significantly, especially for those who are unable to leave Syria. More support should also be given to those countries that have taken most of the refugees. The situation in Syria is dark now but we cannot stand by and contemplate the next anniversary with conditions having become even worse.