Finding Funds for the Syrian Refugees

Syrian children sit on the ground in Domiz refugee camp, northern Iraq

    Today, Mr. O’Brien hosted a briefing in which he highlighted the need for greater funding to be allocated to Syrian refugees and internally displaced people within Syria. He began by stating that this year’s Syria response plan will require $3.2 billion in aid along with more flexible programming and preparedness to deal with immediate needs on the ground.  He also encouraged member states to attend the upcoming Syria Donors Conference that will be held in London in February and which aims to secure funding for long and short term initiatives related to getting children back in schools and adults back in the workforce in Syria.  

    Next, Mr. Grandi briefly spoke of the external components of the 3RP and emphasized that resilience is important for both refugees and host countries.  Additionally, he stated that despite worrying refugee trends, such as the increase in the sheer number of refugees and the increased pace of secondary movement from countries bordering Syria to European countries, assistance has been helpful to these populations.  He mentioned dedicating additional funding to particularly vulnerable refugees, such as unaccompanied minors and Palestinian refugees from Syria.  He concluded with urging member states to attend the upcoming conference in London.

    Lastly, Ms. Clarke urged greater funding for the 3RP in the areas of water and sanitation, infrastructure development, and small agriculture support, all of which will enable refugees and internally displaced people to support themselves. After the briefing, various representatives from Syria, UK, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Turkey, Kuwait, and Japan pledged their support for the conference in London.   Representatives from WFP, WHO, and FAO additionally spoke of the need for greater funding to address the food insecurity and lack of medical supplies within Syria.

Meeting: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): Briefing All Member States on the Syria Regional, Refugee, and Resilience Plan (3RP), the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), and the London Conference.

Date/Time/Location: Tuesday, January 12, 2016; 15:00 -16:00; Conference Room One

Speakers: Mr. Stephen O’Brien, The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA’S USG/ERC); Mr. Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Refugees; Helen Clarke, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator; Representatives from Syria, the United Kingdom (UK), Norway, Sweden, Italy, Kuwait, Japan, Turkey, the World Food Program (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Written By: WIT Representative Shubhangi Shukla

Photo Credit: Peter Biro/IRC

Barrel Bombs: Syria’s Indiscriminate Killers

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The Syrian government is bombing its citizens using barrel bombs; weapons filled with violent explosives and shrapnel. Most recently the barrel bombs have contained chlorine, transforming the already illegal bombs into chemical weapons. Due to the extreme heights at which the bomb is released it is impossible for the Syrian government to target the exact location of the explosion, resulting in an in-discriminative weapon destroying everything in its path.

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Peggy Hicks the Global advocacy director of Human Rights Watch explained that the HRW team has been monitoring attacks using satellites and witness testimonies. This map Ms Hicks shared demonstrates the location of the bombs in the last nine months; they are clearly aimed at the residential region of opposition civilians; there have been approximately 200 strikes since February 2014.

Syrian activist Ibrahim Al-Assil explained that these unpredictable bombs put the Syrian civilians in a state of constant fear and panic, unable to resume any semblance of normal life, including schooling for children.

Ambassadors from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Turkey, and the United States were unanimous that the current events in Syria are crimes against humanity and declared their full support for the motion from H.E. the Ambassador of France that the ICC should trial the Syrian government for the violation of international law and war crimes.

Chairperson H.E. Peter Van der Vietconcluded the conference with a call for the United Nations member states to unite on concrete action plans for the immediate termination of barrel bomb use and to enable the distribution of necessary food and medical supplies to civilians in Aleppo, who are in desperate need of security and support from the international community.

 

More extensive images on barrel bomb destruction in Syria can be viewed here: http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/04/28/syria-new-barrel-bombs-hit-aleppo

 

Meeting Title: Barrel Bombs: Syria’s Indiscriminate Killers

Speakers: Chairperson H.E. Peter Van der Vliet, Ibrahim Al-Assil, Dr Samer Attar, Peggy Hicks the Global advocacy director of Human Rights Watch, Representatives of the Permanent Missions of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Turkey, and the United States Mission

Location: United Nations HQ, New York

Date: 14 May 2014

Written by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark