Advocacy initiatives that SRD commits:
According to Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), 485 medical facilities have been attacked in Syria since the start of the conflict, resulting in the deaths of 841 medical personnel and countless citizens.
Since 2013 when multiple chemical gas attacks occurred in Aleppo, Idleb, and in the outskirts of Damascus, there has been at least 1 chemical attack reported every year in Syria. These attacks create urgent, large-scale health crises that local health facilities are often unequipped to deal with. Obtaining much-needed medical equipment and medication becomes an overwhelming burden for healthcare providers trying to save the lives of the most vulnerable affected.
Focused assistance to the health needs of Syrian vulnerable communities produces tangible benefits to the broader relief effort.
The breakdown of Syria’s health infrastructure continues to acutely affect women, children, and the elderly as their needs are not being met. A lack of medical programs and personnel in Syria focusing on women’s and elderly health will have long-term economic, medical, and psychological repercussions.
Aid access constitutes one of the most crucial humanitarian obstacles facing Syria’s crisis. SRD advocates for improved cross-border and cross-line aid delivery, as well as access to hard-to-reach areas.
There is a scarcity of goods and services, including: food, clean water and healthcare. External humanitarian assistance is crucial because these necessities are inaccessible to the majority of the population. In addition, the lingering plight of over 200,000 Syrians trapped in besieged areas are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
Several considerations support the notion that the relief effort must actively pursue methods to involve Syrians either via 1) Syrian-American aid actors with a network of substantial contacts or 2) Syrian civil society organizations focusing on relief and development.
Syrians are most in tune with needs on the ground and possess innovative insight regarding how to best administer relief. Humanitarian organizations with ties to Syria’s local populations are thus able to respond to the crisis in a manner that maximizes aid effectiveness and empowers communities.
It is important for both #international and #local #NGOs to band together to push boundaries in aid response and delivery.
SRD Advocacy Efforts 2020
Never has advocacy been more important than in 2020—the compounded effects of the crisis coupled with those of the COVID-19 pandemic increased humanitarian needs and vulnerabilities of the population. Like many in the humanitarian sector, SRD had to rely on virtual engagements to convey these advocacy messages on behalf of the communities served. To complement such initiatives, SRD continued critical partnerships as a member agency of several advocacy and coordination bodies, including InterAction, American Relief Coalition for Syria (ARCS), Syria International NGO Forum (SIRF), Syrian NGO Alliance (SNA), and the Northwest Syria NGO Forum, and the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-based Violence in Emergencies.
Briefing to the United Nations Security Council
July 29, 2020
Amany Qaddour, Syria Relief & Development (SRD)