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EU – MEPs Call For Aid And Donor Conference For Humanitarian Aid To Iraq And Syrian Refugees

World Affairs – Humanitarian Efforts
open eyes opinion {source: EP}

MEPs advocate stepping up international humanitarian assistance for Iraq and Syrian refugees and convening a donor

Background Notes:
The violence in Syria has displaced more than 7.6 million inside the country and left over 12.2 million in desperate need of assistance there. In Iraq, more than 5.2 million Iraqis need urgent humanitarian assistance and over 2.1 million are internally displaced.

Some 740,000 internally displaced Iraqis are sheltering in sub-standard housing as a severe winter sweeps the region.  A further 2.2 million Iraqis living in areas controlled by the so-called Islamic State also urgently need aid.

According to the European Commission, some 276,000 refugees have tried to enter the EU illegally while the EU and its member states have mobilized over €3.3 billion for relief and assistance to Syrians in Syria and in the host countries. In 2014 alone, the EU provided €163 million in humanitarian aid to Iraq.

February 12, 2015
Humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria: MEPs call for aid and donor conference

The international community must deliver on its pledges to step up humanitarian aid and assistance to the millions suffering in the crisis in Iraq and Syria, MEPs urged in a resolution voted on Thursday.

They also called on the EU to consider convening a donor conference and stressed the need for a political transition in Syria and an inclusive government in Iraq to cut the ground from under the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Daesh).

Step up international support:

More immediate humanitarian aid and assistance to those affected by the crisis in Iraq and Syria is needed, not least because of the severe winter sweeping the region, MEPs said. They called on the EU to consider convening a donor conference and also to press all donors to fulfill their promises and pledges swiftly.

MEPs strongly condemned the “gruesome systematic and widespread human rights abuses and violations committed by the Assad regime, the terrorists of ISIL/Daesh and other jihadi groups in Iraq and Syria, including the killing of hostages as well as all violence against persons based on their religious and ethnic affiliation, and violence against women and LGBT persons“. They also condemned ISIL/Daesh abuses of children and called for the immediate release of all hostages.

Comprehensive EU strategy for the region:

The EU needs a comprehensive regional strategy to defeat ISIL/Daesh, help to mitigate the humanitarian crisis and end the conflict in Syria and Iraq, MEPs said.

This strategy must include supporting countries hosting refugees, engaging with regional partners to cut terrorism financing, the supply of weapons and the flow of foreign fighters as well as to fight violent extremism.

Finally, MEPs underlined that there can be no sustainable peace in Syria and Iraq without accountability for the crimes committed by all sides during the conflict, particularly on religious or ethnic grounds.


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