Increase humanitarian assistance in Syria government-controlled areas, NRC urges

The Norwegian Refugee Council called on donors to scale up humanitarian funding for Syrians in need in government-controlled areas, and on the Syrian government to end restrictions on aid, ahead of the talks on Syria scheduled in Brussels between 12-14 March.

The Council calls on for a scale-up of humanitarian assistance inside government-controlled areas, in addition to the continued to Syrians in areas outside of government control.

Carsten Hansen, the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Middle East Regional Director stressed on the need for more humanitarian aid, saying that two-thirds of the people needing such assistance are in government controlled areas. However the government has imposed restrictions on humanitarians leading to various donor countries not being enthusiastic in scaling up aid. Hansen stressed on the importance of humanitarian assistance being delivered to the people affected, irrespective of whether the area is controlled by government or by non-state armed groups.

Syrian civil war

The Syrian civil war is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria fought between the Government led by President Bashar al-Assad, along with domestic and foreign allies, and various domestic and foreign forces opposing both the Syrian government. The war in Syria was part of a wider wave of the 2011 Arab Spring protests.

Eight years into the devastating conflict, close to 12 million Syrians are in need humanitarian support, most of whom reside in government-controlled areas. An estimated 2.1 million Syrian children are currently out of school, while one in four schools has been damaged or destroyed by the war.

According to NRC, 1.6 million people were forced to flee their homes in Syria in 2018 bringing the total number of internally displaced to 6.2 million people. 5.7 million people are living as refugees in the region. People have started to return to their homes however the majority do not feel safe, as the problem with lack of security and basic services persists.