Original source: thepeninsulaqatar.com December 8th, 2012
DOHA: A fresh call was made in Doha yesterday for immediate action to support Syrian refugees as their situation is worsening due to the ongoing violence and the harsh weather.
Humanitarian and political activists at a discussion on ‘The Syrian Refugee Crisis: The International Community’s Moral Responsibility,’ urged the international community to act more effectively to help Syrian refugees.
“I know the UN and others are trying to help, but Syrians have lost confidence because of continued suffering,” said Ghada Ghazal, a Syrian refugee, speaking at the discussion, organised by the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Muslim Societies, and the Centre for the Study of Governance and Public Policy at the LAS building in Education City.
“Not all donations reach people really,” said Ghada, a refugee from Hama in Syria. She is living here for the past one month seeking a job to help her family back home.
In August 2012, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that the number of registered Syrian refugees had reached over 200,000, exceeding the UNHCR estimate of 185,000 for the entire year.
Save the Children, in a recent report, revealed that international aid efforts to alleviate the Syrian crises had raised only half the money needed to help the estimated 366,000 refugees. The funding has been “startlingly low” and leaves a shortfall of $200m.
The prevailing cold weather has worsened the situation, especially for the children.
“The international community faces two key challenges in response to the current situation. Bringing about an end to the violence and helping the victims,” said Tamer Kirolos, Jordan Director, Save the Children speaking on Humanitarian Crisis: Life in Refugee Camps.
Children are suffering and parents are taking increasingly desperate measures to keep them alive as their needs continue to grow, temperatures drop and aid falters. About 200,000 children across the region are out in the cold as temperatures plummet, according to Save the Children.
“The situation in Syria has disproportionately affected children inside and outside the country. Immediate and long-term support must be provided,” said Kirolos.
Speaking about the challenges in solving the Syrian crisis, Dr Mohamed Habash, a former member of the Syrian parliament, stressed the need for immediate action to help the refugees shield against the weather. He also said that as a long-term plan there should be more efforts to educate the children. “Qatar Foundation as a major education institution should lead a campaign in the field of education,” said Habash.