World Vision condemns artillery attacks in Syria that kill four children and two aid workers

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 – Early this morning, a series of heavy artillery attacks resulted in the deaths of four children. Four adults – including two staff from a local World Vision partner humanitarian agency – were also killed in different locations across Idlib. Six people were wounded.   

These indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations where children live and where aid workers are trying to support desperate communities living under conflict, are unacceptable. Two staff members – the driver and a psychosocial support facilitator – with World Vision’s local partner, Ihsan Relief Development were killed. World Vision calls on all parties to the conflict to end all attacks and create conditions that ensure safe delivery of life saving aid.    

“We are devastated to learn of yet more children’s lives lost in this conflict, which has gone on for almost ten years. Children now being killed have known nothing but fighting, displacement and the threat of sudden shelling for their whole lives. It’s time to stop the fighting and abide by international calls for a ceasefire. We also stand with Ihsan Relief and Development, one of our partners in Northern Syria, who have lost dedicated staff. Their staff were delivering lifesaving assistance to civilians already struggling with trauma and loss when they were killed,” said Johan Mooij, Response Director for World Vision’s Syria Response.  

Across Idlib more than 3 million people have been displaced by war. “Many thousands of people living in Idlib are not only experiencing sporadic airstrikes but also attempting to prepare for winter, which is usually harsh. Humanitarian workers are trying to deliver assistance that not only helps civilians prepare but also ensures the provision of protective services for children who are traumatised and distressed. These kinds of attacks undermine everything we are trying to do,” said Alexandra Matei, Advocacy and Communications Director for World Vision’s Syria Response. “Unhindered access is vital.  It is one of the most urgent issues facing the international community, especially since the closure of Bal Al Salam border crossing from Turkey has significantly impacted cross-border aid deliveries”, she said. 

ENDS.  

Note to editor 

For further information or to organise an interview, please contact: 

Alexandra Matei, Syria Response Advocacy and Communications Director, World Vision International alexandra_matei@wvi.org | +21692894939

Elias Abu Ata, Syria Response Communications Manager, World Vision International elias_abuata@wvi.org | +962 775 446 556

World Vision is a global humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.  For more information, please visit www.wvi.org/syria-response or follow us on Twitter @WorldVisionSR

World Vision Syria Response has been operating inside Syria, Jordan and Turkey since 2011, where we provide life-saving protection, education, WASH, livelihoods and health services to refugees and local communities, impacted by the ongoing conflict now in its 10th year. In 2019 alone we have reached close to 3 million people, including 1.5 million people with critical health services since the beginning of the year. More than half are children.