Council of Europe urges more aid to Syrian refugees

25 April 2013

Council of Europe urges more aid to Syrian refugees

tiny koxIf the present day world is a village, why are we doing so little about the fire raging in its centre? That was the question posed by SP Senator Tiny Kox today in Strasbourg, where the Council of Europe debated the lack of international aid arriving at the camps receiving the enormous stream of refugees from Syria. Neighbouring countries are carrying the burden while the world looks on, and that can’t go on any longer, Kox said.

More than 70,000 deaths, four million people put to flight and almost one-and-a-half million over the border in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and above all Jordan. These four countries are making tremendous efforts to manage the flood of refugees. The United Nations is helping but what is being done is only half-covered by contributions from the international community. As a result some aid activities will have to be ended at a time when 2,000 new refugees cross the border with Jordan each day.

A few weeks ago a delegation from the Council of Europe went to the area to see for itself the plight of the refugees. Senator Kox, in his capacity as Chair of the European United Left Group, joined fellow political group leaders in criticising the international hypocrisy. From left to right voices were raised in Strasbourg in an urgent call to the UN to at last follow through on its promises, to give more bilateral aid and stand ready for a possible evacuation of refugees should the civil war in Syria get still further out of control. Kox pleaded in addition for more political pressure on government and opposition in Syria to negotiate a truce, and for the US and Russia to put more pressure on the rest of the world. Finally, he insisted that all support for the continuation of the war, to either side, must be forbidden. ‘This war,’ he said, ‘has only losers and must cease as quickly as possible if a total catastrophe is to be avoided.’

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