Civil society steps in for aid to Syrians

Civil society steps in for aid to Syrians

Civil society steps in for aid to Syrians

Syrian refugee boy carries water in a refugee camp near Azaz, Aleppo. AP Photo

A worldwide campaign will be launched in April to open a humanitarian aid corridor to Syria by a civilian initiative, as appeals to the United Nations at the state level have yet to yield a result.

The decision to launch the campaign was made at a recent coordination meeting concerning the aid campaign to Syrians titled “Kış Geldi, Suriye İçin Bir Ekmek, Bir Battaniye” (Winter Came, Bread and a Blanket for Syria). The meeting was held earlier this week at the Ankara headquarters of the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD). The AFAD has been lending support to the campagin in terms of organization, particularly regarding assistance to those Syrians who have been unable to find a place at refugee camps.

The Turkey-based initiative will get in touch with civil society organizations, activists, and social groups around the world, in order to launch a campaign for the opening of a humanitarian aid corridor to Syria.

They will hold demonstrations in front of institutions such as the U.N., the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the EU, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in order to raise awareness on the issue. During the meeting at the AFAD, a decision was also made for forming of a “World Humanitarian Aid Platform,” which would be similar to the “Humanitarian Aid Platform” in Turkey, a statement released by the campaign said.

Ankara has long been calling on the international community to share the burden put on its shoulders due to the Syrian conflict. The number of Syrian refugees in Turkey is currently over 182,000. The establishment of aid corridors requires a United Nations Security Council mandate, but Russia and China, who both have veto power, have said they would not allow the passage of any resolution that they see as unbalanced.