On the sidelines of the ministerial meeting devoted to Syria which took place yesterday at the Quai d’Orsay, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs’ Crisis Center brought together French NGOs on April 19 for a meeting chaired by Mr. Eric Chevallier, Ambassador of France to Syria, to discuss the humanitarian situation in that country.
The continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation is extremely troubling almost a week after the Syrian authorities’ purported acceptance of Mr. Kofi Annan’s plan.
The list of victims is growing longer and the crackdown in this country has so far left more than 11,000 people dead and tens of thousands injured.
More than a million Syrians are now directly or indirectly affected by the violence. Access to medical treatment and food is now extremely difficult because the Damascus authorities are continuing to impose unacceptable restrictions on the activities of humanitarian organizations in Syrian territory.
Lastly, 200,000 Syrians have been forced to leave the country in order to seek refuge in the neighboring countries of Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. 60,000 are being helped by the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees; the others have been taken in by families.
On February 14, the Ministre d’Etat announced his decision to create an emergency relief fund of €2 million for Syria. The fund’s available resources have been equally distributed among international organizations, NGOs and local associations working to help the Syrian people.
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