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Humanitarian ceasefire and access to Syrian civilians urgently needed – aid agencies

NEW YORK, 10 February 2016 - 160 humanitarian agencies are appealing for immediate ceasefire and unimpeded, sustained access to bring lifesaving relief to those affected by worsening violence in Syria.

Already more than 2.2 million people have expressed their support for the appeal or viewed a video calling for an end to the conflict.

The humanitarian agencies include the World Food Program, UNHCR and UNICEF, Save the Children, Norwegian Refugee Council, Care, Caritas, Islamic Relief, World Vision, and scores of other NGOs from all over the world.

As conflict has continued over the past year, humanitarian access to besieged cities and towns and to people in hard to reach areas has actually decreased. Siege and starvation are now weapons of war employed by all parties to the conflict, with nearly half a million people trapped and cut off from humanitarian assistance across Syria. 

In the almost five years since the conflict began in Syria, more than 250,000 men, women and children have been killed, 17 million people have been left in need of humanitarian assistance, and millions of Syrians have fled their country, with ripple effects felt around the world.

The humanitarian agencies are calling for:

  • Freedom of movement for all civilians and the immediate lifting of all sieges by all parties.
  • Unimpeded and sustained access to bring immediate relief to all those in need inside Syria.
  • Humanitarian pauses and unconditional, monitored ceasefires so that food and other urgent assistance can be delivered to civilians, for vaccinations and other health campaigns to take place, and for children to return to school.
  • An end to attacks on civilian infrastructure — so that schools and hospitals and water supplies are kept safe, as they must be under international law.

“These are practical actions. There is no practical reason they could not be implemented if there is the will to do so,” the appeal stated.  “In the name of our shared humanity… for the sake of the millions of innocents who have already suffered so much… and for the millions more whose lives and futures hang in the balance, we call for action now.”


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

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Further Information
John Budd, UNICEF New York +1 917 9099542, jbudd@unicef.org





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