Aid Groups: Syria Worsened as UN Resolutions Went Ignored – Voice of America
Two U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolutions adopted last year have failed to bring improvements to the humanitarian situation in Syria, better protect its civilians from violence or forge any progress toward a political resolution to the country’s crisis, a new report from international aid agencies said Thursday.
The resolutions focused on urging all parties to protect civilians, end indiscriminate attacks and allow for humanitarian aid to reach those in need. But the group of more than 20 aid agencies said the measures have been ignored or undermined, leaving Syrians to experience “increasing destruction, suffering and death.”
“While the UNSC has the legal authority to demand these changes, its members and their allies have the political, diplomatic and financial influence, and the ability, to ensure these changes actually happen,” the report read. “Without action by individual governments, the demands within these resolutions remain little more than words on a page. They can no longer be ignored.”
As the violence continued, pushing the death toll to more than 220,000 people, the U.N.’s appeals for money to help the 12.2 million Syrians in need of emergency aid remained massively underfunded. Last year, the U.N. said it received 57 percent of needed funding.
For 2015, the U.N. is asking for $8.4 billion in one of the largest ever humanitarian appeals to help both the massive refugee population who fled Syria and those forced from their homes within the country. So far, member nations have contributed $230 million.
The U.N. humanitarian agency said Thursday it hopes a donor conference in Kuwait City at the end of the month will bring significant aid pledges.
“We have only a narrow opportunity to intervene now as this potentially lost generation confronts its future,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres. “Abandoning refugees to hopelessness only exposes them to even greater suffering, exploitation and dangerous abuse.”
In addition to meeting the funding needs, the aid agencies’ report calls on the world — particularly rich nations — to increase the number of Syrian refugees they resettle.
The report also highlights the failure to bring a negotiated political end to the fighting, despite two rounds of U.N.-brokered peace talks. It says that all parties should begin meaningful and inclusive talks, and that the international community needs to put an emphasis on the peace process.