Displaced Syrians’ Plight at Risk of Being Forgotten: Urgent Appeal at Brussels Conference

Image Credit, Mahmoud SulaimanHire

Brussels, Today, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) issued a stark reminder to the international community gathered in Brussels: the plight of displaced Syrians demands urgent attention, both diplomatically and financially, to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.

As the Brussels Conference on Syria convenes, the NRC emphasizes that humanitarian aid for Syria is teetering on the brink of insufficiency, with available funding barely scratching the surface of what is desperately required.

Angelita Caredda, the NRC’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Director, underscored the critical juncture facing Syrians: “We are in Brussels to appeal to the international community to leverage their financial and diplomatic weight to support Syrians longing for a better future.”

The outcomes of today’s conference, Caredda stressed, hold immense significance, potentially determining whether Syrian children can access education or are forced into labor, and whether families can secure basic sustenance or face hunger.

Nine-year-old Maram, speaking from northern Syria, poignantly articulated the struggle endured by many Syrian children: “It broke me to see my friends be able to go to school and not be able to.”

The dire situation extends beyond education, with millions of Syrian children at risk of prolonged dependency on aid if critical programs are not bolstered. Syrians, both within the country and in neighboring nations, confront rampant inflation, soaring living costs, and a dearth of job opportunities and services.

In Jordan, dwindling humanitarian funding threatens access to food and vital assistance for refugees, with some receiving less than a dollar a day in food aid. Meanwhile, in Lebanon, restrictive measures and hostile rhetoric exacerbate the challenges faced by displaced Syrians, with many fearing leaving their homes due to the risk of attacks.

Maha, a single mother displaced in Beirut, encapsulated the desperation felt by many Syrian families: “Our options seem bleak: either risk crossing the sea and potentially drowning, or hide here, knowing that if we are caught, we will be deported.”

The NRC has issued a clarion call for increased investment in early recovery efforts to help Syrians rebuild their lives and access essential services. Moreover, they emphasize the imperative of upholding Syrians’ rights and ensuring their protection, both within Syria and in neighboring refugee-hosting countries.

The statistics paint a grim picture: according to the UN, 12.9 million people in Syria face food insecurity, with 3.1 million severely food insecure. Despite the staggering need, the Syrian Humanitarian Response Plan for 2024 remains a paltry 8.7% funded, while neighboring countries struggle to cover even 7.7% of the required amount.

As the international community deliberates in Brussels, the NRC’s plea resounds with urgency: Displaced Syrians must not be forgotten. Their survival, their hopes, and their future depend on the solidarity and action of the global community.