Humanitarian aidGulf Middle East

The Syrian “madness”

(Credit: European Commission)

(BRUSSELS2) “ 66% of refugees are children. We cannot turn our backs on this tragedy, we must act now to avoid the loss of an entire generation of young Syrian children ". Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner in charge of humanitarian aid, appeared before the press this Tuesday (May 14), after a 3-day trip (Saturday 11 to Monday 13) to Lebanon and Jordan. This is not the first time that the commissioner has raised a cry of alarm. And we fear it won't be the last! During her intervention, the Commissioner recalled that the number of refugees is exploding and that resolving the crisis is still a long way off. She announced additional financial support, particularly to countries welcoming refugees. Even if…

A drop of water in the sea

« I knew, when announcing them, that these 65 million euros would only be a drop in the ocean said Georgieva about the additional funds that will be allocated to the situation in Syria pushing up the total amount Commission and Member States “more than 800 million euros, which makes the EU the main donor ". She notes that since her last trip 4 months ago, “ the answers are more important but that the needs are constantly more important (whatever) in education, health services, water ».

More and more refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, the international community must wake up

The commissioner denounced the suffering of millions of Syrians, most of whom are children, and the ever-increasing pressure on local communities ". He is " crucial " that the " international community wakes up ". The situation in the host countries, Lebanon and Jordan “ has deteriorated further ". The numbers are " extremely alarming: 2000 new refugees every day in Jordan !”. The most important camp in the Zaatari country “ became the 5th city of the country " even though " only 25% of refugees are in camps ". The total for the two countries would be one and a half million refugees, " which represents 10% of the Lebanese and Jordanian populations ". If the stream continues, they could represent “ 20 to 30% of the populations of Lebanon and Jordan. I ask you, which EU member country could welcome such a wave of refugees? ". Added to this are 5 million internally displaced people.

Dangerous pressure for host countries

« There is increased competition for housing, jobs, food prices, Lebanese and Jordanians are still welcoming. But there are already conflicts in some places explains the curator. The process seems impossible to circumscribe. " It is extremely difficult to stop this wave of immigration and ask people to return to their countries ". The situation is particularly complicated in Lebanon “ it's even worse, because there are already Palestinian refugees. There are also the Palestinians who were in Syria and who are now in unsanitary camps where living conditions are extremely difficult. (sometimes) up to 9 people on 2 m2 ».

To deal with this situation, we must go further, and finance even more. I will speak with my colleagues at the Commission to see how to increase humanitarian aid but also how to support local communities ". Of the 1,5 billion donation commitments collected during the conference organized by Kuwait “ very few have been truly invested ».

More targeted sanctions

The Commissioner also spoke out in favor of measures aimed at “ to refine the sanctions regime to allow more humanitarian aid to enter Syria "what Lebanon demands, " our interlocutors tell us that we must continue to help inside the country to prevent Syrians from leaving their country ". " It is clear that Syria's economy has collapsed » she affirms but « other means are needed to relieve referring to decisions taken on oil in April by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

A Geneva 2 to put an end to the “madness”

Regarding the long-term crisis settlement, Georgieva pleaded for a Geneva 2, “ we must not abandon the idea of ​​a political solution, Lavrov and Kerry discussed the need to set up a Geneva 2, that is all we have the Geneva agreement ". " We welcome any effort to put an end to this madness, I mean this madness ". This pessimistic vision is surely fed by the meetings of the Commissioner on the ground, " The people I speak with are not expecting a quick solution, there is so much blood that has been spilled that bringing all parties to the negotiating table will not be easy. I met a group of women who had all lost brothers and husbands. And this question of the political solution for them is very difficult because it is difficult to forget »

The grave Syrian “madness” of humanitarian law

Georgieva also called for " put pressure on both sides to enforce the rights of war. People who work in humanitarian organizations talk about impunity and atrocities and this undermines efforts to build international humanitarian law. We are celebrating 150 years of the Red Cross and at the same time this achievement, built on dead Europeans, is destroyed by what is happening before our eyes and it is surely the first priority inside the country ».

Thomas LeBihan

Student in "Public Affairs European Governance course" at Paris I. Intern at B2. Follows the news of the European Parliament.