Humanitarian Crisis-Refugees from Syrian
The paper discusses humanitarian crisis and refugees from Syria. It commences with a brief background of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, and proceeds to international intervention, followed by challenges experienced by foreign bodies in various humanitarian interventions. The paper looks at the impacts of the crisis to the people of Syria, and examines possible solutions to the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The Syrian Refugee Humanitarian crisis has caused a lot of suffering to the majority of population in Syria, calling for urgency in finding a lasting solution from all stakeholders in both local and international forum.
Background of Refugee Humanitarian Crisis from Syria
The Syrian humanitarian crisis finds its genesis in March 2011 when Arabs protested against Bashar Al-Assad government. The protesters demanded an end to the authoritarian practices related to President Assad’s government. The protest was characterized by attacks and counter attacks between the national wide protesters against the government (Lara 12). The government reacted by fortifying its security through creation of a local security unit called the National Defense Force. This defense force was later to become the state military force, and adequately armed for action against any incurring protest.
In an attempt to suppress the demonstration, the government made strong use of police and paramilitary forces. This resulted in multiple manslaughters as police randomly fired live bullets at the protesters. The Syrian government went further and lobbied for reinforcement from other nations such as Iran, Russia, and Iraq in an attempt to restore calm in Syria (34).
Every attempt that was put in place to resolve the crisis in Syria continually failed. Eventually, a civil war broke out and it was characterized by killings and consequential displacement of people. Continued acceleration of the disaster saw to the realization of overwhelming problems for Syrian people. Consequently, there was a rise in the number of refugees resulting into a major humanitarian crisis. It is noted that since the crisis began, as many as 220,000 people had lost their lives by January 2015. A massive number of the civilian was internally displaced while others run to the neighboring countries in search of safety (European Commission – Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection 1).
The mounting humanitarian crisis urgently requires international assistance. Unfortunately, any attempt to offer humanitarian aid has continually been challenged. This is due to intense violence found in access routes and security concerns for humanitarian assistants.
The intensification of Syrian crisis has directly affected the regional as well as international countries. Evidently, Syria cannot handle its present situation single handedly and it has received a lot of international response from several countries. Russia, Iraq, and Iran are strong international benefactors of president Bashar al-Assad. Regardless of global disapproval, Russia has constantly supplied arms to the Syrian army. However, the Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the only answer to the crisis is a political solution to end the conflict. Besides, Iran and Iraq militiamen who claim to be defending Shia holy regions are also supporting the Syrian forces. On the other hand, the US and Turkey have held President Assad accountable for extensive bloodshed and wants him gone. Nevertheless, these two countries approve the necessity for negotiations that could end the war for the sake of peace and the well-being of the refugees. In addition, the United Nations has acted as the biggest donor of humanitarian aid. It has also endeavored to facilitate peace talks with an aim of restoring peace in Syria.
Challenges Facing the Refugee Humanitarian Crisis
Inadequate Humanitarian Aid
Following the intensification of the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, many challenges have emerged. These challenges are also felt in the regional countries, which are hosting the refugees like Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon (Gallucc 5). Firstly, there is the problem of inadequate funds to cater for the increasing number of refugees and internally displaced persons. According to Gallucc, Aid societies appealed for about 7.4 billion U.S dollars for 2015 to assist Syrians refugees. So far, they have been able to receive only 2.8 billion U.S dollars. This is just about 38 percent of the total amount of the needed relief (Lucy 2).
The funding deficit is compelling various humanitarian aid groups in the neighboring countries, which are hosting the refugees to limit their programs. The European Commission – Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection found that, this has left many of the refugees in poor living conditions and limited access to basic needs like food, clean water, shelter, and health facilities (1).
Limited Global Assistance
Secondly, Turkey is also facing the complexity of limited global assistance. To some extent, the government has failed in the words and arguments it is using to petition for help. Therefore, it is very crucial that the government implements practical and reasonable point of view instead of accusing and condemning language ( Kemal 1). Besides, the government should form alliances with other local governments as well as a wide range of intergovernmental societies. Turkey needs to be in one accord with other countries, which are affected by the crisis. In this way, it would be easier to apply added endeavor in the United Nations general assembly and mend Syria’s broken relationship with the European Union(1). As a result, this would produce significant results, which would benefit victims of the disaster, who are living as refugees in the neighboring countries.
Ground Zero Relief
There is a great complexity in how the humanitarian relief is being distributed at the borders. The responsibility of the distribution of relief under the ‘ground zero policy’ rests solely on the Humanitarian Relief Foundation. Kemal found that the application of ground zero policy, whereby such a vital responsibility is entrusted to one public society comes with many perils (1). As a result, the government should find a way to create an international accountability for this relief. It should collaborate with the neighboring countries and mostly the United Nations, in order to assure efficiency and precision in the distribution of relief. As a result, the aid would be of more help to the refugees.
There is an enormous security predicament in regions adjacent to the border. This creates a negative impact on most of the refugees, since most of the refugees camps are located in regions adjacent to the boarders. Many civilians have died from car bombing, missile attacks as well as stray shots. Similarly, a rising quantity of statistics shows that the refugees are being taken advantage of by conmen and opportunists (Kemal 1). If the refugees are unable to obtain ample assistance, the exploitation will increase. In this sense, coming to the aid of the Syrian refugees becomes a fundamental aspect of security strategy.
It is predicted that tens of thousands of the people in Lebanon are stateless. Syrian refugees who were born in Lebanon are predominantly at risk. A survey conducted in the year 2014 of 5,779 Syrian infants showed that about 72 per cent of these infants are not in possession of any authorized birth documentations (Lara 39). Besides those children who are born in the host countries, there are a large number of other refugees who do not posses any authorized identification documents. This has raised a great alarm on how these infants will be recognized by the Syrian administration. The situation has caused the refugees psychological torture, due to t lack of a sense of belonging.
Impacts of Syrian Humanitarian Refugee Crisis
Following many years of Syrian refugee humanitarian crisis, many negative impacts have been experienced in Syria and in countries where the refugees are living. The following is a discussion of the impacts of Syrian refugee humanitarian crisis.
Loss of Lives and Destruction of Property
Since the outset of Syrian crisis, it is reported that over 200,000 people have been killed and about a million people have been injured (2015- 2016 Syrian Response plan Regional Refugee and resilience plan). Research indicates that since the commencement of the crisis in Syria in the year 2011, life expectancy has drastically declined by at least 13 years. Massive loss of life has raised serious concern about security in all parts of Syria. Access to Syria has been challenging even for UN ambulances, which are also targeted, and the humanitarian workers are often kidnapped and killed. In the same line, it is noted that a lot of property have been destroyed since the beginning of crisis in Syria. Essential facilities, such as hospitals, schools, roads and other infrastructure have been destroyed in the course of the crisis.
Reports points out that a massive number of the Syrians have been forced to depart from their homes. Maria Galucc reported that by 2013, at least 4 million Syrians had fled the country since the crisis stated in Syria (4). Out of these of refugees, the European Union received about 213,000 requests for Asylum some seeking to go to Germany. As an effect, Syria humanitarian crisis has been noted as the largest displacement disaster globally. The displaced people are rendered vulnerable often without a place to live and without food to eat. Additionally, they are o exposed to security threats. It is in this line that the displaced population has called for global attention seeking rapid humanitarian help (2015- 2016 Syrian Response plan Regional Refugee and resilience plan). Ideally, about 12.2 million people in Syria urgently require humanitarian support, out of these; more that 5.6 million are children. This notwithstanding, any effort to bring help is almost impossible. The majority of refugees and migrants originate from countries in Africa and the Middle East where extreme poverty and insecurity are compelling families to take flight (Gallucc 4).
Syrian Humanitarian crisis has continually affected the health conditions of the refugees and the internally displaced persons in Syria. It is noted that many people have been wounded in the crisis while others have suffered amputations. This situation has left the refugees them and dependent on others. This scenario is coupled with other concerns such as poor hygiene, inadequate food supply, and lack of clean water. These issues have deteriorated the health condition for refugees. The resulting form of health is additionally provoked by lack of trained health personnel and adequate medication supplies. In addition, attempts to supply medical equipments are often thwarted making it difficult to reach areas in dire need of medical assistance (Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection 2)
The crisis in Syria has negatively impacted the economy, consequently leading to extreme poverty of Syrian people. It is estimated that the Syrian economy constricted by about forty percent since the onset of crisis in 2011(Shan 5). Syrian people have been rendered poor, lacking even basic needs and so losing their means of livelihood. At the end of the year 2013, it was estimated that three people in every four Syrian people survived in dire poverty. As a result of the deteriorating economy, the Syrian government is unable to support the refugee and the internally displaced people.
Suffering of Children
The Children in immigrants’ camps are frequently exposed to hostility and fighting. They have been denied their basic rights such as, the right to security, education, shelter, food, and clothing. It is reported that school attendance has drastically dropped by more than fifty per cent since the genesis of refugee humanitarian crisis (8).
Violation of Human rights
Syrian refugee humanitarian crisis accounts for massive violation of human rights. Obviously, right to life has been seriously violated with the reports indicating 200,000 deaths, and many injured (European Commission – Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection 1). The government in Syrian is reported to have used violence against protesters. The security armies fired at demonstrators and killed a number of them. The Government in Syrian deployed troops in areas of antigovernment protest and at the same time cut down communications services and vehemently suppressed any protest regardless of the means. This step has amplified the figures of people moving to refugee camps in the neighboring countries.
Violation of human rights escalated with the Syrian government use of chemical weapons in the suburbs of Damascus resulting to the killing of many people by 2013 (7). This move was seriously condemned as a major violation of human rights, although reports indicated that Syrian officials denied the use of chemical weapons in spite of the evidence collected by the UN weapons inspectors.
Possible Solution to the Syrian Refugee Humanitarian Crisis
The urgency of Syrian refugee crisis calls for immediate action from all actors in order to put an end the untold suffering of Syrian refugees. In the first place, concrete information from reliable sources need be availed to all actors, including readers, institutions, and agencies. This will ensure clear comprehension of the situation as it is without bias. In the same line, an appeal needs to be made to all actors and policy makers to act in their capacities in an attempt to end the crisis.
Second, the international societies should lobby for peace conferences with the governments and all the other stakeholders. The international bodies such as United Nation, applying diplomacy and sending envoys for peace, can do this. Possibly, this would facilitate the alleviation of the refugees’ plight.
In addition, application of justice needs to be realized for all the victims of the Syrian refugee humanitarian crisis. Therefore, transfer of the Syrian state of affairs to the International Criminal Court is essential. This would not only find a lasting solution to the refugee crisis but also ensure justice for the victims. The reformation of the Syrian national justice system is also urgent in order to stop the crisis and prevent occurrence of similar crisis in the future. An advocacy for international actors is also needed to help lobby for respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law is needed (AbuZayd, Sullivan and Akram 4).
In conclusion, Syrian refugee humanitarian crisis is a perrenial problem that has caused immense suffering for many people. These ranges from lack of a place to call home, living under terrible threats due to insecurity, lack of food, poor health facilities, and poor sanitation. Moreover, most of the refugees especially the vulnerable group undergo psychological agony owing to the hardships that they face. It is clear that the Syrian humanitarian crisis has had negative effects not only on Syrian refugees, but also on the neighbouring countries where the refugees have sought asylum. Though not yet known, the destiny of the victims lies in the ability of the involved stakeholders to come up with long-term solutions. It is the duty of the world at large to join hands and end the afflictions of the refugees. It is therefore urgent that the measures that have been set in place to curb the crisis, be implemented on an immediate effect by the stakeholders. In addition, practical and lasting solutions need to be employed in order to end the perrenial humanitarian crisis of the refugee from Syria.
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