Berlin conference on the Syrian refugee crisis: Words are not enough, neighboring countries need concrete support
As the Berlin conference on the Syrian refugee situation concludes, Andy Baker, who leads Oxfam's response to the Syria crisis, said:
“Oxfam welcomes the importance placed in Berlin on assisting neighboring countries, but words alone are not enough. States must ensure not only the humanitarian needs of refugees are met but that comprehensive economic aid packages help neighboring countries deal with the widespread socio-economic impacts of the crisis.
“Caught between relentless fighting and a dire humanitarian situation, the only hope for millions of Syrians has been to flee to neighboring countries. With the refugee crisis reaching such a staggering scale, even that option is disappearing as border restrictions are increasingly enforced by those countries.
“Working to provide humanitarian assistance in Jordan and Lebanon, Oxfam is witnessing first-hand the unprecedented impact of the crisis on the countries’ overstretched infrastructure and services, but it is crucial that they keep their borders open if civilians are to have any hope of fleeing the fighting. These governments need long-term international help to do so.
Oxfam has called on rich countries to resettle at least 180,000 vulnerable refugees from Syria by 2016 (5 percent of the total projected refugee population).
Joelle Bassoul, Oxfam's media lead on Syrian crisis: email@example.com / +961-71525218 / @jobassoul.
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