Childhood spent amid war, poverty and hunger
Any child born in Syria in 2011 is now just about to embark on their teenage years after an entire childhood devoid of peace. If they are very lucky, they have been able to go to school – unless theirs has been destroyed by war as is the case for a third of all schools. Just like most of the population, the child probably only has unsafe alternatives to clean water and, just like more than five million other women, men and above all children, they may well need food aid to survive. Worse still, the child can see no improvement in their situation.
Never before did the long-suffering Syrian population have such huge humanitarian needs as they do today – what is more, they keep increasing. The dreadful earthquakes in Turkey and northern Syria this year exacerbated the situation further. Continued support from the international community is needed to ensure the people affected by the Syria crisis do not lose hope and can be provided with the bare necessities.
What is today’s Syria conference in Brussels about?
At an international conference in Brussels today, urgently needed financial aid will be raised for the people in Syria and the region. Germany is pledging just over one billion euro. The money is to be used for relief projects, such as those run by Welthungerhilfe. In the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, Germany’s Welthungerhilfe is handing out food vouchers and bread, helping bakeries maintain production and distributing, for example, seeds, fertiliser and tools. Internally displaced persons in Aleppo and Idlib are being given seeds and fertiliser so that Syrians can hopefully bolster local food production and regain a degree of control over their lives and their security. Furthermore, a small number of people are, for example, being taught how to grow vegetables.
The conference is also focusing on the situation in neighbouring countries which have for years been the main countries taking in Syrian refugees, including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. The refugees have the right to adequate accommodation, hygiene standards and healthcare, security, protection and food. The Federal Government is supporting these countries as they tackle the challenges of needing to provide for refugees.
At the end of the day, however, only a political solution to the conflict can address the root causes of the suffering. United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 lays the groundwork here. Thus the Federal Government together with its partners is committed to a peaceful solution to the conflict within the parameters laid down by this resolution.