Support for the People of Syria
- 19 February 2014
After failing in his efforts to find a solution to the crisis in Syria, where humanitarian situation is deteriorating considerably, the UN-Arab League Representative Lakhdar Brahimi apologized to the Syrian people for the lack of progress in the Geneva-2 talks between the regime and the opposition. There were expectations that a political settlement will bring to an end the suffering of the Syrian people who face unprecedented humanitarian challenges over the living conditions of its inhabitants and refugees.
With a political solution looking far-fetched, the need is urgent for humanitarian efforts to help Syrians in and outside the country. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that the number of homeless Syrians will double to six million by the end of 2014, taking into account the bloody armed clashes between government troops and the opposition. This has forced thousands of civilians to flee to neighboring countries on a daily basis.
There appears to be a consensus on the fact that humanitarian situation in Syria is worsening and that Syrians are paying a heavy price for the continuing violence. Relief organizations are unable to perform their duties and hundreds have been killed. Voices have been raised around the world calling for solidarity with the Syrian people and for the alleviation of their suffering.
The UAE has been leading the way in trying to tackle these humanitarian challenges through its various initiatives. The most recent initiative has been the campaign launched by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation to assist Syrian refugees in Lebanon in collaboration with the UAE embassy there. This unit is providing assistance to as many as 12,000 refugees.
In January, under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him), the Red Crescent Authority launched ‘Our Hearts with the Syrians’ campaign. The objective of this campaign was to collect donations to help Syrian refugees in neighboring countries and provide desperately needed food supplies. The UAE has also established a UAE-Jordanian field hospital to provide medical care to Syrian refugees in Jordan.
These initiatives prove that the UAE offers a unique model of humanitarian support that gives prime importance to solidarity. The country’s unique approach helps the needy irrespective of their color, race or faith. International humanitarian and development organizations have praised the UAE’s efforts in this domain. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki moon has also commended the UAE’s role in supporting humanitarian efforts around the world.