30 October 2014
UN relief official: massive scale-up of assistance needed for countries impacted by ongoing Syria crisis
Saying the ongoing civil war in Syria and its spillover effects continue to inflict a devastating human and humanitarian toll on neighbouring countries, John Ging, Operations Director for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, made a strong plea on behalf of the neighbouring countries Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, as well as Turkey.
He recalled that a recent conference in Berlin had examined how the international community could agree on a ‘step-change’ in terms of burden-sharing with the neighbouring countries. Mr. Ging applauded the tremendous generosity shownby Syria’s neighbours thus far, but said those countries need ‘more than words and compliments, they need financial support’. Such support would not only address the needs of the refugees that had fled to those countries but also the rising socio-economic concerns of the countries themselves, for instance, to enhance infrastructure, repair roads, and build more schools.
He said that every country in the subregion in one way or another is being affected by the crisis in Syria. The neighbouring countries had generously opened their borders ‘but it’s not enough. This is a burden that must be shared by the entire membership of the United Nations’. How that burden is shared is something that the member states must work out among themselves, and he called for an immediate scale-up of financial resources. ‘That’s what the countries [of the subregion] are asking for. We’ve been speaking about this endlessly. We’ve been speaking about it for years, but the countries of the neighbourhood continue to bear [a disproportionate burden] of the humanitarian consequences of this conflict’, he said.