Some Syrian Considerations: humanitarian crisis
It took two years of conflict in Syria for the refugee figure to reach one million, but only six more months to reach two million, Mr. Guterres noted. In addition, at least 4.5 million people have been driven from their homes inside Syria by the destruction and violence, meaning that close to one-third of the country’s population has been displaced by the civil war, and about half the population has needed humanitarian aid, Mr. Guterres said, putting Syria’s crisis at a level unseen in recent decades.
About 40,000 Syrians fled to Iraq in the last two weeks of August, and 13,000 arrived in Lebanon in the past week. Over all, close to 5,000 Syrians are leaving every day.
Imagine if this number of people flowed into the United States, unauthorized. What would we do with the people? Many Americans complain about illegal immigration. Hmmm…what’s the difference?
Some of the receiving countries simply cannot take any more people. They are in crisis. International aid has fallen very short.
By the end of August, Lebanon had more than 716,000 Syrians who were registered as refugees with the United Nations and many more who were unregistered, he said, meaning that perhaps one of every four people in the country is a Syrian. About 515,000 Syrians were on the United Nations register in Jordan, 460,000 in Turkey, 168,000 in Iraq and 110,000 in Egypt, with many more likely to be unregistered.
“These countries need massive support from the international community to be able to cope with the challenge,” Mr. Guterres said, emphasizing the acute strain the refugee influx has placed on their economies and social resources. “If that support does not materialize, the risks of instability in the Middle East will dramatically increase.”
Is this the price of doing nothing? Mr. Guterres, is the United Nations high commissioner for refugees. We keep hearing that air strikes will destabilize the region. The Civil War is destabilizing the region. The refugees are destabilizing the area. That ship has already sailed. Winter is coming and there are families living in tents with no heat, little food, and inadequate clothing. What will winter do to these people? Granted, it doesn’t impact the United States directly. Can we say the same thing about the Holocaust? Can we ignore the killing, the gassing, the starvation? Where are the countries of the world?
The international response so far has fallen far short of what is needed, Mr. Guterres warned. Turkey has received financial assistance equivalent to less than 10 percent of what it has spent to support the refugees, he said. Financial backing for Jordan and Lebanon was “totally inadequate,” he added.
The United Nations refugee agency says it has received $548 million, or less than half the $1.1 billion it had sought, to pay for relief for Syrian refugees in 2013. Most came from traditional Western donors, led by the United States, which contributed $228 million, or 40 percent of what the agency has received. European countries, Japan, Canada and Australia have together accounted for about 33 percent. Kuwait has contributed $112 million, or about 20 percent.
By contrast, Russia, the Syrian government’s main ally, has given $10 million. China, which has helped Russia block any authorization of military action against Syria in the United Nations Security Council, has given $1 million.
So those who have done the least to end the hostilities have also done the least to contribute to humanitarian aid. How very typical. China and Russia. Two real champions.
Yes, we Americans are tired of war. So are the Brits. Many European countries have their own financial problems. I bet none of us are as tired of war as some poor Syrian family who has left home with nothing but the clothes on their backs and their little children. That Syrian family has to look forward to a tent city with inadequate food, clothing, shelter and bathroom facilities.
Are there even Syrian relief funds that the general public can give to go to the countries taking in refugees? Many of us have read the horrors of the Holocaust and have shaken our heads about those who could help but didn’t. In fact, we have condemned them. These people need help.
I would have no problem contributing towards a cruise missile or two heading Assad’s way also. If a few Al Qaeda get a little action from that missile, so much the better. Wait, I am a taxpayer. I already have contributed.
Shame on the Brits, shame on France, shame on Germany and shame on the liberals who are weenie-whining about war.
I have just one phrase for the Brits, France and German: WWII
You never pay off some debts, folks.