Syria: Syrian Democratic Council – A Statement for the Public Opinion (09.11.2022)

The Syrian Democratic Council has followed with great concern the recent statements made by the Swedish government and its foreign minister that are hostile to Sweden’s values and first of all, they contradict the culture of its society. The Syrian Democratic Council, with all its political components, which in turn express the legitimate demands of the people of Syria in all its national, ethnic and religious diversity for democratic transition and change and for resolving its crisis in accordance with its political course on the basis of international Resolution 2254, considers these statements, which coincided with the eighth anniversary of international solidarity with the Kobani resistance, to be surprising and reprehensible at the same time. This resistance, which has made an important turning point in the path of undermining, fighting and countering terrorist organizations, most notably the ISIS terrorist organization, in which it became obvious that Ankara is one of its most important supporters in mobilizing, training and directing with the aim of occupying Syrian regions in the first period of the Syrian crisis, stressing in this regard that the government of Sweden knows the relationship between the Ankara regime and these organizations.

We assure the Swedish people and their government that the resistance of the Syrians in northeastern the country; an important part of the Syrian territories, has made a difference in consolidating security and stability in all parts of the world, including the kingdom of Sweden itself. The duty of the Swedish Kingdom, as it is known about it, to take the right position that expresses its humanitarian values as a country that is the first one in the field of consolidating human rights, knowing that more than 35 thousand martyrs, wounded and wars were provided by the People Protection Units and Women Protection Units, and all the formations of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The Syrian Democratic Council affirms that Sweden is not so weak as to be subjected to Turkey’s blackmail, and nowadays, it was not forced to make concessions and weaken democracy and the rule of law to satisfy a dictator who became known by all countries of the region that revealed the falsity of his claims, and that Turkey is currently in all problems with all neighboring countries and the world as a result of his regime’s destructive projects and its dictator’s practices that are hostile to the truth, peace, security and stability of peoples.

The Syrian Democratic Council, while affirming and supporting every step that enhances Sweden’s security and sovereignty, calls on the people of Sweden and all its democratic parties and powers at the forefront; The Social Democrats, all Left parties, Green parties, all Swedish civil society organizations and human rights institutions, to confront this situation and thwart every such decision, because it will only be the first step regarding the way to the usual blackmail of the dictator of Turkey, and it is a step that harms Sweden itself in the long term. We also call on the people of Syria and their democratic powers to reject this approach of the Swedish government and to be an assistance for all components of the Syrian Democratic Forces, including the People Protection Units and Women Protection Units, which are defenders of the people of Syria and are still resisting dangers and they are defending all Syrian components and their territorial integrity.

On November 9th, 2022

The Syrian Democratic Council

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Somalia: Famine looms in Somalia, but many ‘hunger hotspots’ are in deep trouble (21.09.2022)

The number of people facing life-threatening levels of hunger worldwide without immediate humanitarian aid, is expected to rise steeply in coming weeks, the UN said on Wednesday, in a new alert about looming famine in the Horn of Africa and beyond.

NEW YORK, United States of America, September 21, 2022 – In Somalia, “hundreds of thousands are already facing starvation today with staggering levels of malnutrition expected among children under five,” warned the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).“Large-scale deaths from hunger” are increasingly likely in the east African nation, the UN agencies continued, noting that unless “adequate” help arrives, analysts expect that by December, “as many as four children or two adults per 10,000 people, will die every day”.

Complex roots

In addition to the emergency already unfolding in Somalia, the UN agencies flagged 18 more deeply concerning “hunger hotspots”, whose problems have been created by conflict, drought, economic uncertainty, the COVID pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Humanitarians are particularly worried for Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen, where a record 970,000 people “are expected to face catastrophic hunger and are starving or projected to starve or at risk of deterioration to catastrophic conditions, if no action is taken”, the UN agencies said.

This is 10 times more than six years ago, when only two countries had populations as badly food insecure, FAO and WFP noted, in a new report.

Urgent humanitarian action is needed and at scale in all of these at-risk countries “to save lives and livelihoods” and prevent famine, the UN agencies insisted.

Harsh winter harvest

According to FAO and WFP, acute food insecurity around the world will worsen from October to January.

In addition to Somalia, they highlighted that the problem was also dire in the wider Horn of Africa, where the longest drought in over 40 years is forecast to continue, pushing people “to the brink of starvation”.

Successive failed rains have destroyed people’s crops and killed their livestock “on which their survival depends”, said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, who warned that “people in the poorest countries” were most at risk from acute food security that was “rising fast and spreading across the world”.

FAO’s QU calls for massive aid scale-up

Vulnerable communities “have yet to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are suffering from the ripple effects of ongoing conflicts, in terms of prices, food and fertilizer supplies, as well as the climate emergency,” the FAO chief continued.

He insisted that “without a massively scaled-up humanitarian response” to sustain agriculture, “the situation will likely worsen in many countries in the coming months”.

Echoing that message, WFP Executive Director David Beasley appealed for immediate action to prevent people dying.

We urgently need to get help to those in grave danger of starvation in Somalia and the world’s other hunger hotspots,” he said.

Perfect storm of problems

This is the third time in 10 years that Somalia has been threatened with a devastating famine,” Mr. Beasley continued.

The famine in 2011 was caused by two consecutive failed rainy seasons as well as conflict. Today we’re staring at a perfect storm: a likely fifth consecutive failed rainy season that will see drought lasting well into 2023.”

In addition to soaring food prices, those most at risk from acute food insecurity also have “severely limited opportunities” to earn a living because of the pandemic, the WFP chief explained, as relief teams brace for famine in the Somali districts of Baidoa and Burhakaba in Bay region, come October.

Below the “highest alert” countries – identified as Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen – the joint FAO-WFP report notes that the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Kenya, the Sahel, the Sudan and Syria are “of very high concern”, in addition to newcomers the Central African Republic and Pakistan.

Guatemala, Honduras and Malawi have also been added to the list of hunger hotspot countries, joining Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

Barriers to aid

Humanitarian assistance is crucial to save lives and prevent starvation, death and the total collapse of livelihoods, FAO and WFP insist, while highlighting chronic access problems caused by “insecurity, administrative and bureaucratic impediments, movement restrictions and physical barriers” in 11 of the 19 hotspot countries.

This includes “all six of the countries where populations are facing or are projected to face starvation…or are at risk of deterioration towards catastrophic conditions”, they said.

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