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Syria: human consequences of war

Earlier this month, I travelled to Lebanon and Syria and saw firsthand the effects this devastating war is having on those who have managed to escape it. Below is an excerpt from an article I wrote for the Independent detailing the human consequences of the war in Syria.

The sheer scale of this crisis is overwhelming. Some 750,000 Syrians have arrived in Lebanon so far. This is a country the size of Munster but with a population of 4.2 million. It is struggling to cope with the influx, but 3,000 refugees arrive each day. Adequate shelter, food, clean water, sanitation and healthcare are all in short supply, but the demand for them increases daily. These are the absolute basics for human survival, and families here are going without.

The needs of the Syrian people – both those still in the country and those who have fled – are simply not being met. The exceptionally difficult circumstances in which they are living consistently fail to make the headlines. With every day that this conflict continues, an entire generation is being relegated to the sidelines, confined to half-lives.

Ending this horrific war is of course what needs to happen. But how? So far, military support to either side has failed to win a decisive victory and instead front lines are hardening and the consequences of the conflict are now spilling out across the region.

As long as the international community remains divided on this, chances of settlement look marginal at best. We must all urge political leaders to unite behind a resolution. Until they do so, we must talk about the human consequences of a failure to find a peaceful solution to this crisis. The affected civilian population can no longer be ignored.

In the meantime, let us fix what we can – finding funding to meet the immediate and growing needs of both the refugees and host communities. We can start by urging those nations who are supplying lethal aid to warring sides to instead provide humanitarian aid to the growing innocent victims of the war.

Read the full article.

This article was reproduced courtesy of the Independent.