Gaziantep, Turkey: A major escalation in fighting among all parties to the Syrian conflict is threatening critical supply routes for humanitarian aid in areas between the Turkish border and Aleppo City and forcing thousands of vulnerable civilians trapped between the front lines to flee their homes, according to global humanitarian organisation Mercy Corps.
A Syrian woman carries a food basket distributed by Mercy Corps in Aleppo governorate. The basket contains enough food staples to last a family of seven about four weeks (photo courtesy: Mercy Corps)
As foreign ministers from more than 20 countries gather in Paris on June 2 to discuss the crises in Syria and Iraq, Mercy Corps calls on the international community to step up diplomatic efforts to end the war and to fund the humanitarian response at a scale commensurate to the human suffering.
“We are deeply concerned that further escalation in fighting will make it impossible for our teams to bring vulnerable families and those newly displaced from their homes the life-sustaining assistance they need to survive this terrible war,” says Rae McGrath, Mercy Corps’ director for North Syria. “We see that more and more families are forced to leave their homes in search of safety and find themselves trapped between constantly shifting front lines.”
Mercy Corps has one of the largest humanitarian operations in northern Syria, delivering aid each month to some 500,000 vulnerable people in Aleppo governorate. More than half of the people Mercy Corps is helping inside Syria are under the age of 25, and 20 percent are under the age of 15.
“We cannot abandon the civilians trapped in this conflict; there have been enough innocent victims,” says McGrath.