#Last8Years in Syria – International Day of Peace 21st SeptemberPublished: Sep 18, 2019 Reading time: 3 minutes
Can you pause for a moment and think about what you did in the last 8 years? Maybe you finished your degree, or got married? Maybe you overcame an illness, moved cities, or visited a very special place you had always wanted to...?
In Syria, people have been suffering through a war for 8 years. Under bombs and uncertainty. With their life on hold.
The facts are brutal: more than 10 million people there require humanitarian assistance, half of whom are in living in areas of “catastrophic, critical or severe” need, according to the UN. More than 6 million people have already been displaced from their homes, and every day another 4,000 people join them.
In North-west Syria, the situation is particularly desperate. Many Syrians had fled to Idlib seeking peace, only to find themselves trapped. People there have suffered a 4-month offensive, including airstrikes that have destroyed hospitals, schools and infrastructure and killed 1,089 civilians.
As UN representative Mark Cutts recently put it: “Idleb is burning and the world cannot simply stand by and watch. Even in times of war, parties to the conflict have obligations to protect civilians, as spelt out in the Geneva Conventions which have been signed and ratified by 196 countries.”
People in Need, as one the few humanitarian organisations still on the ground providing aid in the Idlib region, has seen the impact of this up close. Our work provides us with breath-taking testimonies like that of Anwar, and elderly man who fled with his extended family. While he was speaking to us, stressing his wish to return home soon, we filmed airstrikes landing in the area. This is daily life in Idlib.
We are also supporting Bashira, who told us that she could only afford bread – the staple of her family’s diet – once every ten days. She is trying to raise her four children alone since her husband passed away.
Amira is a ten-year-old girl that has been out of school for three years. Her education was interrupted when her family had to flee Aleppo city. Before being supported through one of our projects, she spent two years at a camp without a school, where her teacher now Ghazwan explained that, “the majority of the children did not even know their letters or how to count from one to ten.”
On International Day of Peace (21st September), let’s call for the end of war in Syria, so that the next 8 years for Anwar, Bashira and Amira – and millions like them – can be lived in peace.
What can you do?
- Be heard: share your #Last8years on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram.
- In your posts, tag influencers and decision makers, urging them to share your concern about the 3 million people in Idlib currently trapped in an escalating war.
- Discuss this article with friends and reflect on the stories of human suffering.
- Donate to PIN and other organisations that are helping to provide life-sustaining aid on the ground in Syria.
*A sketch by Muzna for Protect Civilians - based on a photo by Omar Khattab of People in Need.