Syria crisis: 10 years on, humanitarian situation is worse than ever (04.03.2021)

Aleppo, Syria

Geneva, 4 March 2021 –The daily suffering of Syrians is worse now than it has been at nearly any point throughout the decade-long conflict that has ravaged the country. This is the sobering message delivered today by three senior Red Cross and Red Crescent officials as Syria enters the second decade of a relentless crisis.

Khaled Hboubati, the President of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, said:

“Continuing hostilities, a downward economic spiral, a refugee crisis that has reverberated around the world and the COVID-19 pandemic have conspired to push Syrian people to unacceptable extremes. For a decade now, people in Syria have been living in agony. As we speak, more than 13 million people need at least one type of assistance and about 8 million people are unable to respond to their basic needs.”

With the price of basic commodities more than doubling in the last year alone, food insecurity has worsened for the Syrian people. Around 12.4 million people – 60 per cent of the Syrian population – do not have regular access to enough safe and nutritious food, and more than 90 per cent of the population is estimated to live under the poverty line.

Speaking ahead of his visit to Syria, Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said:

“The people of Syria cannot afford to endure another year like this, let alone another ten. We need a political solution to end the conflict, ongoing financial support for the recovery – and a future for those who have lost so much.”

The immense humanitarian needs across Syria have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):

“For most Syrians, worrying about the virus is a luxury they cannot afford. They cannot afford to protect themselves. They cannot isolate themselves at home or else no food would be on the table. And even if they do get contaminated by the virus, the health system has been battered so severely that access to treatment and care is limited.”

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent have been responding to the needs of people in Syria since the first days of the conflict. With the support of the ICRC and the IFRC, backed by dozens of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world, Red Crescent volunteers are delivering more than 60 per cent of aid across Syria. Without them, this humanitarian catastrophe would have been much worse. Since the beginning of the conflict, 65 volunteers of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and eight volunteers of the Palestine Red Crescent branch in Syria have lost their lives in the line of duty.

“We ask that States and all parties to the conflict respect and ensure international humanitarian law is respected in their operations,” *added ICRC’s Maurer. “Humanitarian access, the protection of civilians, and humane treatment of detainees are not in the category of ‘nice to have’, they are both a moral and legal obligation.”*

In the neighbouring countries of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, where an estimated 5.3 million Syrians have found refuge, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement also plays an essential role in supporting vulnerable refugees and local communities.

IFRC’s Rocca said:

“Now, more than ever, Syrians need our solidarity and support. Over the past decade there has been tremendous generosity and solidarity. Unfortunately, today, we see that donations are declining despite the worsening humanitarian situation. We have a moral duty to support the sustainability of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, an organization that is so integral to the delivery of the international community’s support. Without the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, millions more would go hungry every month.”

Frente POLISARIO: The United Nations and MINURSO realise that “Business As Usual” attitude regarding Western Sahara is a recipe for distaster (02.03.2021)

Syria: United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, Imran Riza and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Muhannad Hadi – Statement on Deaths in Fire Incident at Al Hol Camp (28.02.2021)

Syria: Statement by Mark Cutts, Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis on the killing of a humanitarian worker in northwest Syria, 17 February 2021 (17.02.2021)

Syria: National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces – Syrian Opposition Coalition – Russia’s Blocking of UN Security Council’s Joint Declaration Must Represent Moment of Truth for International Community (11.02.2021)

Syria: National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces – Syrian Opposition Coalition – On UN Envoy’s Latest Briefing to UN Security Council (11.02.2021)

Syria: Joint Statement on International Day of Education – Ten years of war in Syria, more than half of children continue to be deprived of education (24.01.2021)

Syria: National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces – Syrian Opposition Coalition – Final Communique of 54th General Assembly Meeting (14.01.2021)

Opinion: A possible Algeria-Morocco conflict over annexation of Western Sahara (Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic – SADR)

Today President Donald J. Trump through the “deal” or “agreement” made between the Kingdom of Morocco and Israel. Have ensured that the Kingdom can annex the “Southern” provinces or Western Sahara or the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Because of the support of the Polisario Front, the government in-exile have claimed the independence and own state. However, the Kingdom of Morocco have claimed it after Mauritania “left it”.

This is why it’s really unfortunate that the Trump Administration in its final stages are arranging a “legal annexation” of Western Sahara. This will further escalate the “cold-war” between the neighbours of Algeria and Morocco. Who already fought the Sand Wars over the same territory. As the Algerian government is supporting the Polisario Front. While Morocco wants to keep a bigger territory. Where they can also enforce its control, extract its resources and sell the fish abroad. Which it does and have done.

This Israel-Morocco deal is surely to give another “victory” in the supposed legacy of Trump. However, this might be remembered for further escalation and cause more problems for the UN Mission in Western Sahara (MINUSRO). A UN Mission which will in trouble and cause issues about brokered peace deal of 1991. This will most likely hurt these endeavourers and cause more harm.

The Government-in-Exile will surely be hit by this and the Algerian allies will react to this. The support from all across the continent will react too. As there been a long history of solidarity across the African liberation movements in support of the independence of SADR. Therefore, today’s actions thwart that.

It is a sad day. As this is throwing a Molotov cocktail into the conflict and probably causing more frictions, tensions and escalations between Algeria-Morocco. Since both parties are invested in it and has their pride in this.

The United Nations needs to mediate. The African Union needs to get active before Algeria, Polisario Front or Morocco annexes it officially. Not only “holding” the territory, but taking full ownership. That would cause such harm and we would have a cross border battle. Also, possibly involve more Republics. As the surge for support of the cause and secure its benefactors.

The Kingdom of Morocco might cheer today. However, that is all false celebrations. As they are colonizing an area, which isn’t their to have. It is the SADR and not “Southern provinces”. Let’s that be clear.

There is a need for solidarity on this and the people of SADR. The Sahrawi deserves recognition. It is their birthright. It is not for Morocco too take. Trump is an erratic bullshitter and ego-maniac. That man doesn’t care about the consequences as long as he gets a cut or pay-off. We can wonder what that is here, but with time the price will eventually leak.

The SADR isn’t something you bargain for cheap. It isn’t a commodity you sell. It is a Republic that shouldn’t be for sale. However, Trump easily sold the Kurds out too. So, this follows a pattern. Peace.

Syria: Syrian Opposition Coalition – Assad Regime’s Escalation in Idlib Requires Urgent Response from Guarantors & International Actors (04.11.2020)