Aid teams in northern Syria are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the numbers of refugees. No amount of money and supplies can end Syria’s suffering. That must come from politicians. Following is a piece from the international aid organization Mercy Corps:
A steady stream of people – most on foot – walk in one direction toward the Turkish border. There is an unspoken truth these brave people share among themselves: they fear the siege of Aleppo, which pre-war was Syria’s largest city, is about to begin.
Our Mercy Corps humanitarian aid teams in Syria daily witness new waves of displaced families forced to flee their homes in search of safety. After five years of war, it is hard to imagine that the conditions in Syria could get any worse, but they have. Every time we think we’ve seen it all, the conflict takes another turn and surprises us.
In recent weeks, there has been a huge increase in civilian casualties as the bombing has intensified, with tens of thousands of people arriving at the border with Turkey. In the last few days alone, camps near the Turkish border have effectively doubled in size and there is no end in sight to the long lines of displaced people desperately trying to survive. Our estimates say that roughly 70,000 people are currently moving towards the border.
Amid the winter cold, more people arrive without basic necessities – no food, no water and no blankets. There is no place for people to sleep and even makeshift shelters are increasingly difficult to come by. Despite terrible conditions, our teams are working hard to live up to the humanitarian imperative that drives them. In collaboration with our local partners, we’re positioned around the border, meeting refugees with food, water and basic items, such as mattresses and blankets, where we can.
The unbearable reality is that no amount of money and no shipment of supplies can end Syria’s suffering. The current humanitarian situation in Syria is shameful and morally unacceptable, and the end of this grave human crisis is long overdue. We must dial up the pressure on political leaders to force an end to the war.
[Read full article in The Guardian]