The number of Syrian refugees registered in neighboring countries has hit the 4 million mark, announced the UNHCR today. Oxfam says it is more than time for governments to step-up the relief effort.
Andy Baker, who leads Oxfam’s response to the Syria crisis, said:
“A ‘fate worse than death’ is how some of the four million Syrian refugees now registered in countries neighboring Syria describe what it’s like to watch the towns and cities in which they left everything behind crumble under mortar attacks and barrel bombs, waiting endlessly for help that does not come while the humanitarian assistance on which they've relied is cut back.
“Before our eyes, the number of refugees fleeing the brutal conflict has ballooned. Most travelled only with the clothes on their backs. Countless further millions are effectively trapped inside a warzone as countries neighboring Syria have restricted their borders to more people trying to flee, under the extreme strain of the crisis. The world has responded with inadequate aid, limited offers of resettlement for the most vulnerable refugees and a shamefully half-hearted attempt to drive warring parties to the negotiating table. If we are to prevent millions more Syrians becoming displaced from their homes and restore the lost faith in humanity of an entire generation – this must change now.
“At the very least, governments must step-up contributions to the $8.4 billion relief effort and invest in the health and education services of the countries hosting four million refugees. Anything less is tantamount to abandoning Syrians - and the often extremely poor communities that host refugees - to their fate.”