On the eve of the third anniversary since the Syrian conflict broke out, Commissioner Georgieva is visiting Syrian refugees in Iraq. From the Iraqi-Syrian border she stated: “We must not let this tragedy slip into political oblivion because of other crises. On this third and shameful anniversary of the Syrian conflict, it is my heartfelt wish that there will not be a fourth."
More than 2.5 million men, women and children have fled Syria over the past three years, of whom 230 000 have found shelter in Iraq. The Commissioner recognised that despite Iraq's own problems,its door has been open to vulnerable Syrians fleeing from their country. She also reiterated the call to improve access of humanitarian aid to those in need inside Syria. "It is vital that tangible progress be made on implementing the UN Security Council Resolution on the humanitarian situation in Syria” she said.
The European Commission also announced today it would provide additional €1 million to allow the continuation of the polio vaccination campaign, conducted inside Syria by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). It will assist in the inoculation against the disease of 2.5 million children under the age of five.
For Syrian children, who make up over half of the 2.5 million refugees and 9.3 million people in need of assistance inside Syria, the outbreak of polio last year was yet another scourge, adding to the horrors of violence and insecurity that they have experienced over the past three years. This additional funding will increase the outreach of the vaccination campaign, but hardship and deprivation can only be halted if a political solution is found to this devastating conflict. Syrian children are "No Lost generation”. The international community cannot allow this to happen.