World Vision sounds the alarm on funds urgently needed to save lives of Syrian children

World Vision sounds the alarm on funds urgently needed to save lives of Syrian children

Donors must fully fund the Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) and Syria Regional Response Plan 5 (RRP 5)[1] which will be launched on Friday, 7 June in Geneva, Switzerland.

As fighting escalates in Syria, life for children caught up in the conflict continues to worsen. More than 80,000 people have been killed as a result on ongoing violence. Three million children have been affected so far and the numbers will continue to rise unless parties to the conflict take every step to end hostilities and meet at the negotiating table. The recent report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry once again confirmed rampant violations against children, including use of children in combat, unlawful killing, detentions and abductions of children as young as six years of age[2].

Funding, if fulfilled, through SHARP and RRP 5 will assist nearly seven million people in need of urgent humanitarian aid inside Syria, and more than 1.5 million refugees and host communities in neighbouring countries.

“The clock has been ticking for 2 years, now the alarm is sounding too loud to be ignored. It is time to wake up to the size of the need, the seriousness of abuses against children and the urgency of changing the way we do business so that we can really begin to help children who are displaced from their homes inside Syria and who are refugees in Lebanon and Jordan and other neighbouring countries”, says Philippe Guiton, World Vision Syria crisis response leader, “We are frustrated by the slowness of donor and public response to the very clear needs of Syrian children. It takes too long for the money that is available to be released for the work that is needed. It is as if we have hungry children at the table and are told we cannot feed them until we have been shopping but that all the shops are shut at the moment”.

“There is one child focused priority for donors, to provide immediate funds for child protection and make sure the funds reach the non governmental organizations that are working with affected children from Syria and host countries”. Says Guiton, “Donors must use this historic moment to put children first, it is unacceptable that they continue to suffer as they have from this crisis”.

World Vision calls on the international donor community to:

•             Urgently fund NGOs and UN agencies engaged in child protection programming and child protection capacity building within SHARP and RRP 5 to alleviate further suffering of children caught up and affected by conflict;

•             Ensure aid allocations include international and local NGOs to enable fast and efficient delivery of relief, especially to the most vulnerable, and to address bureaucratic impediments to timely disbursements of aid;

•             Provide funding and assistance to refugee hosting countries in accordance with their need;

•             Stop blurring the lines between humanitarian aid, politics and military action. Humanitarian assistance should not be conflated with military aid of any form. Humanitarian aid is delivered on the basis of humanitarian principles of impartiality, neutrality, humanity and independence;

[1] The Syrian Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP) and the Syria Regional Response Plan 5 (RRP5) outline the funding requirements, and response plans, of donors and international actors, to address humanitarian needs relating to the Syrian conflict

[2] Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic,