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SYRIA now needs $8bn in humanitarian aid. Funds are also needed for Syrian refugees living in other countries. They need healthcare and educational facilities.

The question is: “Why is the international community failing to come up with the money needed? The need for funds has far outstripped the money raised. Many donor countries are reluctant to give aid as they need money for their own domestic problems.

Many countries have been affected by the influx of refugees. Their economies have come under stress. The Syrian challenge is greater than any other. The number of needy people has risen from one million to 12m in four years. Security Council resolutions ask for the provision of humanitarian aid.

IS terrorists control vast areas in Syria and Iraq. They have threatened the world peace. The UN Secretary General was perturbed over the humanitarian catastrophe. He expressed shame, anger and disgust over the international community’s response. Thousands of humanitarian workers have been targeted , and their lives are in danger.

Permanent members of the UN Security Council have failed to resolve the conflict due to disagreement among themselves, while war crimes and killings go on.

We need to build a new mechanism of accountability in this area. Major European countries have slashed aid into half. Funds have squeezed. Europeans are focusing on their domestic issues.

Former UK foreign minister Milliband said recently that Britain was morally failing in taking Syrian refugees. He now heads the International Rescue Organisation in New York. There is still a degree of hope left that these refugees will get some sort of assistance. Keeping people alive is increasing institutionalised dependency. We will have to go back to political solution.

Javaid Bashir

Lahore

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2015

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