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Displacement crisis in Syria: no time to lose

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“It is critical to reach an agreement with Syrian authorities on securing humanitarian access inside Syria and to ensure that funds are available to respond to the needs on the ground.” Five members of The Elders have joined leading humanitarian organisations to highlight the plight of the more than 1.5 million displaced people inside Syria, who have been driven from their homes by conflict.

Elders Ela Bhatt, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Graça Machel and Mary Robinson – together with leading humanitarian organisations – yesterday called on the UN and Arab League to find a way of ensuring that vital food, sanitation and medical assistance reaches those in need.

In an open letter to UN Security Council Ambassadors, they highlight the dire needs of internally displaced people within Syria who face continued violence, separation from essential services, increasingly scarce food reserves, and fragmenting social support networks.

The growing number of displaced people has outstripped the capacity of local communities to support them, and extreme restrictions on humanitarian access mean that hundreds of thousands of people are simply cut off from any assistance.

The signatories urge the international community to pursue an agreement with the Syrian authorities on securing humanitarian access – and to ensure that the necessary funds are available.

“We urge you not to allow the welfare of thousands of displaced people in Syria to be held hostage to the ongoing deadlock at the political level,” the letter says.

Read the letter.

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