Syria: The worst humanitarian crisis of our time

7 April 2015, 12:13 UTC | Syria
Residents wait to receive food aid distributed by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) at the besieged al-Yarmouk camp, south of Damascus on January 31, 2014 © unrwa.org

Since the crackdown on peaceful protests in March 2011, over 190,000 men, women and children have been killed. 11.6 million people have fled the violence in Syria, a staggering figure almost three times the population of New Zealand. 

What started as a peaceful cry for freedom has descended into a devastating civil war. With an ever-rising death toll and millions left without food, water or healthcare, the people most harmed by the fighting are innocent civilians.

Refugee crisis

Every day around 5000 people, mainly women and children, flee their homes in Syria. Four million are being sheltered by Syria’s five neighbouring countries who are struggling to cope.

With no end to the conflict in sight, these numbers will increase. This is the worst humanitarian crisis of our lifetime and the international community cannot continue to turn its back on Syria’s refugees.

War Crimes

Since the uprising began we have documented a horrific war crimes and crimes against humanity. Both sides in the conflict have killed and tortured captives, and both have killed civilians through the use of indiscriminate weapons.

Deliberate Starvation of Civilians

In Yarmouk, a suburb of Damascus, the Syrian army have halted the entry of all food, goods and medical supplies. On the brink of starvation, residents are forced to forage for food. And they’re not alone - around 250,000 civilians are living under siege across the country.

What you can do to help

Here in New Zealand, Amnesty International is calling on the Government to immediately accept 100 more refugees from Syria.

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