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Syria Peace Talks Must Unlock Humanitarian Access

Statement by 97 Syrian and international NGOs on the Astana talks

by wael.m
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As peace talks commence today between the Syrian government and opposition groups in Astana, Kazakhstan, at least 700,000 people inside Syria – 300,000 of them children – are trapped in besieged areas without the most basic provisions to sustain their lives, according to the United Nations. Some groups put the number at one million.  

The ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey on December 30th is welcome but it is only one step towards relieving the suffering of millions of Syrians. Almost five million people across the country have limited access to humanitarian aid. Fierce fighting has continued in the suburbs of Damascus, where millions have been deprived of access to clean water. Many Syrians are no less vulnerable than they were before the ceasefire.  

If peace talks in Astana are to succeed, Russia and Turkey must ensure the ceasefire brings real change for Syrians, not only by halting the fighting completely but also by allowing sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to all populations in need. The success of the talks will be measured by the abiding commitments made by all parties to unlock humanitarian access, end unlawful sieges, uphold the ceasefire and reconvene for inclusive political negotiations under UN auspices in Geneva on February 8th.  

As co-organizers of the Astana talks and guarantors of the ceasefire, Russia and Turkey are in the spotlight. If they are unable or unwilling to bring about real humanitarian progress on the ground, history will judge their efforts harshly, and the suffering of millions of Syrians will continue.

List of signatories

  1.  Abrar Halap Association for Relief and Development*

  2. Ahl Horan*

  3. Al-Ameen*

  4. Al-Basar Organization*

  5. Alkawakibi Organization for Human Rights’

  6. Alseeraj for Development and Healthcare*

  7. Amrha*

  8. Arab Coalition for Sudan

  9. Arab Program for Human Rights Activists

  10. Attaa Association*

  11. Attaa for Relief and Development (ARD)*

  12. Balad Syria Organization*

  13. Basmet Amal Charity*

  14. Baytna Syria

  15. Bihar Relief Organization*

  16. Binaa for Development

  17. Bonyan*

  18. Broederlijk Delen

  19. CAABU (Council for Arab-British Understanding)

  20. CAFOD (Catholic International Development charity)

  21. CARE International

  22. Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)

  23. Christian Aid

  24. Collectif pour une Syrie libre et démocratique (PSLD)

  25. Damascene House Foundation for Society Development*

  26. Deir Elzzor United Association (FURAT)*

  27. Doctors of the World

  28. Education Without Borders (MIDAD)*

  29. EduRights Foundation*

  30. Emaar Al Sham Humanitarian Association*

  31. Enjaz Development Foundation*

  32. Ghiath Matar Foundation*

  33. Hand in Hand for Syria

  34. Help 4 Syria*

  35. Human Appeal

  36. Human Care Organization – Arsal*

  37. Humanitarian Relief Association (IYD)*

  38. IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation

  39. Independent Doctors Association (IDA)

  40. Insan for Psychosocial Support*

  41. InSurya*

  42. International Humanitarian Relief*

  43. International Rescue Committee

  44. International Supporting Woman Association (ISWA)*

  45. Irtiqaa Foundation*

  46. Islamic Relief

  47. Karam Foundation

  48. Maram Foundation for Relief & Development*

  49. Mercy Corps

  50. Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies

  51. Mountain Foundation*

  52. Najda Now*

  53. NAS*

  54. Nasaem Khair*

  55. No Peace Without Justice

  56. NuDay Syria*

  57. Orient for Human Relief*

  58. OXFAM

  59. Pax Christi Flanders

  60. Physicians for Human Rights

  61. Qitaf Al Khair Relief Association*

  62. Rethink Rebuild Society

  63. Revivre

  64. Saed Charity Association*

  65. Save A Soul*

  66. Save the Children

  67. Sedra Association for Charity*

  68. Sham Association for Orphans Care*

  69. Shama Association*

  70. Snabel Al Khyr*

  71. Souria Houria

  72. STAND

  73. Syria Charity*

  74. Syria Relief and Development

  75. Syria Relief Organization*

  76. Syrian Education Commission (SEC)*

  77. Syrian Engineers for Construction and Development Organization (SECD)*

  78. Syrian Institute for Justice

  79. Syrian Medical Mission*

  80. Syrian Network for Human Rights

  81. Syrian Orphans Organization*

  82. Syrians for Truth and Justice

  83. Takaful Al Sham Charity Organization*

  84. Tearfund

  85. The Society for Threatened Peoples (Germany)

  86. The Syria  Campaign

  87. The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression

  88. The Syrian Establishment for Human Care & Enhancement (MASRRAT)*

  89. Tuba Dernegi*

  90. Unified Revolutionary Medical Bureau in East Gouta*

  91. Union of Syrians Abroad*

  92. War Child Canada

  93. War Child UK

  94. White Hands – Beyazeller*

  95. Women Now For Development

  96. World Vision

*These organizations are members of the Syria Relief Network (SRN), an umbrella organization of Syrian humanitarian NGOs working inside Syria and neighboring countries to provide all humanitarian assistance relating to the Syrian Crisis.

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