Money for aid vital and welcome, but other actions needed as peace talks fail in Geneva
In response to billions of dollars being pledged by governments today to help Syrians engulfed in the country's conflict, Andy Baker, Regional Program Manager for Oxfam's Syria crisis response said: "The London conference is a potential turning point. Some rich countries have pledged far more than in previous years. And it is welcome that Syrian organizations were invited to the event for the first time. To ease the suffering of Syrians, the world must heed their demands and ensure their voices are heard.
"Money for aid, although vital, will not solve the crisis. Indications that Syria’s neighbors will allow refugees to work must rapidly translate into action. And ultimately, there needs to be an end to the massive violations in Syria. Governments meeting in London can’t rest on their laurels when the peace talks in Geneva are faltering and the violence continues unabated."
Earlier this week, Oxfam released a fair share report on aid and resettlement provided by rich nations in response to the Syrian crisis. Canada was shown to be one of the most generous countries.
Julie Delahanty, Oxfam Canada’s Executive Director, said: "The Government of Canada has been a generous donor, and by extending its $100M emergency relief fund to the end of February demonstrated a continued commitment to supporting the humanitarian response in Syria and the region. But the needs are dire, and much more is needed as the conflict approaches its fifth year. We urge Canadians – who have shown great generosity to resettled refugees arriving in Canada – to also support the millions struggling to survive inside Syria and neighboring countries."
In Canada, Melanie Gallant at (613) 240-3047 | *protected email*
Oxfam has spokespeople available for interview in London from Syria and Lebanon, speaking Arabic, French and English.
Attila Kulcsar in London: +44 7471 142974 | *protected email*
Joelle Bassoul in London +961-71525218 | *protected email*