Syrian Crisis Update

The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace has also recently issued an update on the Syrian crisis and the main actions being taken by Development and Peace.

UPDATE ON THE SYRIAN CRISIS

by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace

Context

Far from subsiding, the crisis is continuing instead of getting bogged down. The numbers, moreover, are staggering:

In Syria, 13.5 million people are in need of emergency humanitarian aid, 6.5 million are displaced across the country and more than 4.2 million people have found refuge, chiefly in neighbouring countries, but also in Europe where more than 500,000 people have fled. To date, the conflict has left in its wake more than 250,000 dead and more than a million casualties.

Behind those figures, there are people living in unimaginable living conditions for this region of the world. In Aleppo, for example, water and electricity have been cut for about two weeks out of every month since the beginning of 2015. During the summer of 2015, when the mercury was hitting 40 degrees, Aleppinos were deprived of drinking water for three consecutive weeks; this situation was due to the fact that the water treatment plant is in the rebel zone while the electric plant used to power the pumps is in regime-controlled territory. The war for territory and control of resources is thus at the heart of the conflict.

The recent Russian military intervention in support of the authorities in Damascus has also further polarized the conflict. The various rebel components would have ceased to confront one another and would have united against the common enemy and would also benefit from new materials. They would therefore not lose ground and would continue instead to advance, as evidenced by the recent fighting around Aleppo and Damascus.

According to Father Nawras Sammour, S.J., director of JRS Syria [Jesuit Refugee Services Syria], the Syrians on their own will not be able to solve this problem. Peace can only be achieved on a regional level and on an international level. No Syrian citizen can solve the current situation. The people are exhausted. The conflict is beyond the resolution capabilities of Syria.

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