Global organization warns the daily violence of a brutal conflict will continue
AMMAN, JORDAN – The global organization Mercy Corps is alarmed by the latest events in Syria and fears for the safety and well-being of Syrians who continue to be affected by the conflict. The reported chemical weapon attack, continued bombardment of schools and homes, and military air strikes are likely indicators for what is yet to come in other parts of Syria, the aid organization warns.
“What’s to come seems terrifying. Innocent men, women and children are paying the price for the world’s failure to make any progress toward a diplomatic solution,” says Arnaud Quemin, Mercy Corps’ country director for Syria. “New military offensives are already starting in northern rural Homs. We are hearing reports of intense bombardments that began over the past few days.”
Some 240,000 people are trapped in the rural areas north of the city of Homs, which have been periodically cut off from aid by blockades, clashes and besiegement. According to the United Nations, so far in 2018 close to 700,000 people have been displaced due to escalating conflict in regions across the country, in addition to the 6.5 million who were already displaced. Shelters for displaced people are overcrowded and humanitarian needs are high for both residents and the newly arrived.
“We must remember the threats that Syrians still face and the daily suffering they endure,” says Quemin. “The humanitarian needs show no signs of decreasing. The emergency is just moving from one location to another.”
Mercy Corps’ partners on the ground in Eastern Ghouta, outside of Damascus, worked up until the last days of the siege, which resulted in the destruction of schools, hospitals and humanitarian centers. In the final weeks of the siege, Mercy Corps’ partners reached more than 65,000 people in Eastern Ghouta with winter clothing and blankets, food, child-protection services and basic hygiene supplies.
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