Photo by Ameer Alhalbi
Action Against Hunger is calling on all parties to the conflict in Syria to ensure direct access to civilians in Aleppo and also in the 11 other communities still under siege in Syria. “We are extremely concerned not only about the 50,000 civilians under siege in Aleppo, who are finally beginning to be evacuated, but also about the more than 900,000 people in cities who are now under siege by parties to the conflict. Immediate funds must be mobilized to cover their urgent needs for water, food and basic shelter,” says Action Against Hunger’s Director of Operations Vincent Stehli. Action Against Hunger has already begun delivering humanitarian assistance to populations in west Aleppo.
Action Against Hunger has been working in Syria since 2009, and is prepared to enter east Aleppo. We have an emergency team working in the west of the city, and are ready to send them as soon as possible to assist those who need help in the east. Action Against Hunger emphasizes the need to assist the estimated 900,000 people still under siege, including 374,000 children, as well as the nearly 5 million people in difficult-to-reach areas where humanitarian actors are not able to get full access to provide help.
“It is imperative that all parties to the conflict immediately cease indiscriminate violence against the civilian population—and that those who control the territory in the cities caught up in conflict guarantee the direct access of humanitarian organizations to people in need, eliminating administrative and logistical obstacles to humanitarian assistance,” says Action Against Hunger’s Head of Advocacy for its headquarters in Spain, Manuel Sánchez-Montero. “The international community has the capacity to implement agile aid mechanisms, capable of making an effective disbursement of funds in a few hours: the population in distress in Syria cannot wait days or weeks for help to arrive in these conditions.” The international appeal for the humanitarian response operation in Syria is only 45 percent funded.
“Today, despite all the urgent calls to action, less than half of the United Nations appeal for funding —for a country with 13.5 million people in urgent need of help and two thirds of its population without access to safe water—has been met,” says Jean Raphaël Poitou, Action Against Hunger’s program coordinator for the Middle East.
Action against Hunger has been working in Syria since 2009, delivering clean water and sanitation, food aid, and programs to improve livelihoods.