A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Geneva peace conference on Syria conflict must not be talks for the sake of talks
Nigel Timmins, who is heading up Oxfam's response to the Syria Crisis, said: “This announcement is long overdue. The international community now needs to make sure that the proposed date does not slip. Today’s announcement could mark a critical step in bringing an end to the daily killings, displacement, and suffering taking place in Syria.
“But these must not be talks for the sake of talks – they must be backed up by measures that will make a real difference to those ordinary Syrians who have been suffering for so long. This must include a halt to armed violence and allowing those in need to access aid. The international community must help make this a reality by pressing for a ceasefire and halting the transfer of arms and ammunition to the country."
“The talks themselves must be inclusive if they are to have any chance of success, all parts of Syrian society must be adequately represented, including non-military actors who will be crucial in the rebuilding and reconstruction of their country. With more than 100,000 people killed and millions displaced and living as refugees in neighboring countries, the Syrian people cannot wait any longer.”
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Zahra Akkerhuys on +44 7525 901932
For background, please read Oxfam's briefing paper, called The Moment of Truth, which details Oxfam's call for action from the international community on, first aid, and then on the fundamental imperative to stop the bloodshed and take steps towards a just, sustainable peace in Syria.