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ReliefWeb - Updates
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    Source: Action Contre la Faim France, Adventist Development and Relief Agency International, ACTED, American Refugee Committee International, CARE, Caritas, Cordaid, DanChurchAid, Danish Refugee Council, GOAL, Handicap International, HealthNet TPO, International Aid Services, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Malteser, Medair, Mercy Corps, Merlin, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam, Plan, Relief International, Saferworld, Save the Children, World Vision
    Country: South Sudan

    Aid agencies urge donors to get priorities for newest nation right from the start

    A coalition of 38 aid agencies today (Tuesday 06 September 2011) called on donors not to squander the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people of South Sudan, the world’s newest nation. The call came as new violence in Jonglei state increased emergency needs.

    Donors are due to meet with Government of South Sudan officials over the next coming months to discuss development priorities. The country is one of the poorest in the world, with half the population living below the poverty line and, after decades of brutal war, is being built up almost from scratch.

    In a joint report, the aid agencies, which include Oxfam, World Vision and the South Sudan Law Society, said it was vital that donors get their priorities for tackling poverty right from the start. The report outlines key priorities for donors working to improve lives in South Sudan.

    Mary Kudla, Acting Country Director from Oxfam in South Sudan said:

    “The war is over, and the struggle for independence achieved, but the struggle to ensure peace and safety for all and win the battle against extreme poverty in South Sudan is only just beginning. Today a 15 year girl is more likely to die in childbirth than finish school and people are still being displaced from their homes due to new violence. The excitement following the birth of a nation is hard to overstate, but the disillusionment following a failure to deliver change for the poorest would be equally severe. Donors need to get their policies on South Sudan right from the start.”

    Crucially the report calls on donors to continue to provide emergency aid to the volatile nation and improve their understanding of conflict dynamics. Already this year, some 2, 611 people have been killed in violent conflicts, with tribal clashes in Jonglei State in mid-August resulting in the deaths of at least 340 people and displacement of 26, 800. A further 275,000 people have already been displaced by violence this year which has hindered much needed agriculture and crop cultivation.

    Dong Samuel Luak, Secretary-General from the South Sudan Law Society said:

    “South Sudan has a complex mix of emergency, recovery and development needs. The country remains vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods and drought and is still susceptible to conflicts. As the recent clashes in Jonglei show, people still need emergency aid. Sustained humanitarian funding is required, along with increased support for basic services and security and justice provision.

    The report also calls on donors to build up the capacity of the government of South Sudan, so it is able to provide more and better services for its people including effective security and rule of law across the country. Government structures are extremely weak and being built up from almost nothing, especially outside the main towns. The agencies say that it will take time for South Sudan to assume full responsibility for the delivery of services. NGOs are currently responsible for the majority of basic service delivery in South Sudan, such as health, education and water and sanitation, and it’s vital that donors continue supporting these services as they support the government to build up its capacity to deliver these services itself.

    The aid agencies also urged donors to support agriculture and income generating opportunities for the poorest communities Currently only an estimated 4 per cent of arable land is cultivated, the production of livestock and fish is just a fraction of the potential and exports and trade between different regions of South Sudan are minimal.

    Edwin Asante, Programme Director from World Vision South Sudan said:

    “In Western Equatoria mangos lie rotting on the ground while traders import juice from neighbouring Uganda. The local farmers’ association wants to buy a juicing machine, but they don’t have the money. Across the country, there is a complete absence of equipment and technology that would help South Sudanese farmers add value to their products. Wheat flour, maize flour, sugar and palm oil all available in abundance in their raw forms, are imported from neighbouring countries. Donors could change this and tap into South Sudan’s untapped potential.”

    The agencies also called on donors and the government to help build up social protection schemes to help the most vulnerable in South Sudan, such as cash transfers for those prone to food insecurity.

    ENDS

    Notes to editors:

    Aid agencies that have signed up to the report are: Action Against Hunger, ACTED, ADRA South Sudan, American Refugee Committee, Association for Aid and Relief, Japan, AVSI, CARE, Caritas Luxembourg and Switzerland, CHF International, Cordaid, DanChurchAid, Danish Refugee Council, GOAL Ireland, Handicap International, HealthNet TPO, Humane Development Council, International Aid Services, ICCO, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, JEN, Malaria Consortium, Malteser International, Medair, Mennonite Central Committee, Mercy Corps, Merlin, Mission Aviation Fellowship International, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam, Pact, Plan South Sudan, Population Services International, Relief International, Saferworld, Save the Children, South Sudan Law Society, and World Vision.

    For further information please contact:

    Rebecca Wynn , Media Officer, Oxfam + 44 (0) 1865 472530 or + 44 (0) 7769 887139 or rwynn@oxfam.org.uk


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    Source: Association for Aid and Relief Japan, Concern Worldwide, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, HELP - Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V., Food for the Hungry, Welthungerhilfe, ACTED, Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation, War Child International, Medair, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Norwegian Refugee Council, INTERSOS, Tearfund, CARE, MENTOR Initiative, Terre des hommes, Caritas, International Aid Services, Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, Christian Aid, Mercy Corps, Cordaid, Handicap International, Action Contre la Faim France, World Relief, People in Need, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Relief International, African Medical and Research Foundation, Save the Children, Plan, World Vision, World Renew
    Country: South Sudan

    Juba, South Sudan, 25th January 2014 - Fifty-five major humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in South Sudan have expressed their deep concern about the current humanitarian situation in the country and reaffirmed their commitment to help all civilian populations in need of assistance.

    The fifty-five NGOs have been deeply alarmed at the scale of human suffering seen in the country in the past six weeks, and so welcome the recent signing in Addis Ababa of a cessation of hostilities agreement between the Government of South Sudan and the opposition forces, and trust that it will lead to a swift reduction in the suffering of civilians. In this regards, the agencies continue to call upon all parties to the conflict to protect civilians, to refrain from targeting attacks on civilian areas, and to distinguish between civilians and combatants.

    The NGOs themselves operate in accordance with the four key humanitarian principles of:

    • The Humanitarian Imperative: NGOs seek to alleviate human suffering, wherever it is found.

    • Impartiality: aid is given regardless of the race, creed or nationality of the recipients and without adverse distinction of any kind. Aid priorities are calculated on the basis of need alone.

    • Neutrality: aid is not used to further a particular political or religious standpoint, and NGOs do not take sides in a conflict.

    • Independence: NGOs formulate their own policies and implementation strategies and do not seek to implement the foreign policy of any government.

    “The humanitarian imperative means that we seek to provide assistance to any civilians who may need it”, explained Wendy Taeuber, Country Director of the International Rescue Committee. “Collectively, we want to be able to help all people in need, wherever they may be located in South Sudan and regardless of who is controlling that area”.

    However, the NGOs emphasized that in order to be able to provide assistance to those who need it, it is essential that all actors recognize the independence of NGOs, and ensure respect and protection for their staff, assets, facilities and humanitarian activities. “We call upon all parties to the conflict to allow unimpeded humanitarian access, and to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of our staff” said Caroline Boyd, Medair’s Country Director.

    “Violence against aid-workers is always unacceptable” added Alan Paul, Country Director of Save the Children, “and any restrictions on the movements or activities of NGOs simply hinder us from providing vital assistance to those South Sudanese who need it most”. Sadly, at least 3 aid-workers, all South Sudanese nationals, have been killed since 15th December.

    “Access is urgently needed”, noted Mercy Corps’ Country Director Mathieu Rouquette, “as the rainy season will be starting in just a few months, which will make it difficult to transport supplies and leave some locations entirely cutoff”.

    The NGOs reiterated that their neutrality means they are separate from any military actor or party to the conflict, and they maintain impartiality by providing assistance on the basis of need alone. “Although some NGOs are currently providing assistance to displaced people seeking shelter within UNMISS bases, we are maintaining our independence and respecting humanitarian principles as separate entities from UNMISS” explained Emilie Poisson, Country Director of ACTED.

    Background

    South Sudan

    South Sudan gained independence on 9th July 2011, and is the world’s newest country. Out of a population of about 12 million, it is estimated that more than half a million people have been displaced since fighting broke out just over one month ago.

    Humanitarian Principles

    Further details on humanitarian principles are given in the Code of Conduct for The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief, available at www.ifrc.org/en/publications-and-reports/code-ofconduct/

    The Fifty-Five NGOs

    The majority of the fifty-five NGOs have been working in South Sudan for at least ten years, and several have been present for more than 30 years. In 2013, the agencies collectively spent over one-quarter of a billion US dollars on humanitarian and development programmes to assist the people of South Sudan.

    Each NGO is registered in South Sudan with the Ministry of Justice and the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC), and every NGO is obliged to respect the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, and abide by the country’s laws.


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    Source: Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, HealthNet TPO, ACTED, Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation, Malteser, ZOA, Norwegian Refugee Council, Tearfund, CARE, Caritas, Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, Pact, People in Need, Mines Advisory Group, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Adeso, World Vision, ACT Alliance
    Country: South Sudan

    New Report Warns of Worsening Humanitarian Disaster in South Sudan

    CARE urges global community to act now to help nearly 7 million at risk

    Juba, South Sudan — A new report on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan warns that the safety and food security of nearly 7 million people will deteriorate rapidly without a swift, international response. CARE urges the global community to do more to provide urgently needed food and health aid as well as help stop the violent conflict that has precipitated this humanitarian crisis.

    Today CARE and 21 other aid and humanitarian agencies published Loaded Guns and Empty Stomachs, a new report on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan. The report details how the current violent conflict has sparked a rapidly worsening food crisis in an already vulnerable country. Its authors, including CARE, urge the international community to work toward a negotiated political settlement to the current conflict while scaling up aid for vital food and health services.

    "CARE just finished a rapid response mission in Pagak in Upper Nile state where we saw women and children bearing the weight of this conflict and the beginning of what may be a serious food crisis,” says Aimee Ansari, CARE country director for South Sudan. “The international community has to invest more in health, nutrition, water and sanitation now. Once the rainy season begins, many of the most vulnerable people will be unreachable.”

    More than one million people have been forced from their homes and livelihoods by violent conflict that began in South Sudan in December 2013. With farmers forced from their land and unable to plant or harvest, the 3.7 million people already in need of immediate food assistance will grow rapidly. Additionally, markets and vital health facilities across the country have been destroyed.

    Loaded Guns and Empty Stomachs notes that, before violence broke out in December, South Sudan’s food security was the best it had been in five years. The current conflict threatens to quickly erase South Sudan’s significant progress. Already, feeding centers in Jonglei and Upper Nile have reported seeing twice as many malnourished children in January 2014 as they did the prior January.

    Media Contact

    Dan Alder, (Juba): dalder@ss.care.org, Nairobi mobile +254-0-706 223 998; Juba mobile: +211-0-959 100 145

    Nicole Harris (Atlanta): nharris@care.org, +1 404-979-9503, +1 404-735-0871


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    Source: Concern Worldwide, HealthNet TPO, Food for the Hungry, CESVI - Cooperazione e Sviluppo Onlus, DanChurchAid, Agency for Co-operation and Research in Development, ACTED, Malteser, Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation, INTERSOS, Tearfund, CARE, Terre des hommes, Caritas, Internews Network, Nonviolent Peaceforce, Pact, Christian Aid, RedR, Mercy Corps, Cordaid, Polish Humanitarian Action - Polska Akcja Humanitarna, World Relief, People in Need, Mines Advisory Group, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Relief International, Adeso, Plan, World Vision, Amref Health Africa
    Country: South Sudan

    Juba, 26th April 2014

    The undersigned non-governmental organisations (NG0s) express deep concern at the serious escalation in violence in South Sudan, which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and is exacerbating an already profound humanitarian crisis. We strongly condemn all attacks that have taken place against civilians during this conflict, most recently at the UN peacekeeping base in Bor on 17th April and in the town of Bentiu on 15th-18th April. Civilians have been targeted on the basis of their ethnicity, others indiscriminately killed, and many subjected to unspeakable grave human rights abuses including rape.

    Widespread violence against civilians has reportedly been committed since December 2013, but recent events display a serious deepening of the conflict and callous disregard for civilian life and international humanitarian law. So far an estimated 1 million people have been forced from their homes; of these over 90,000 people are sheltering in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) bases across the country. Thousands of people have fled to the UN peacekeeping base in Bentiu for fear of reprisal attacks in the past week. Many areas outside the main towns remain inaccessible due to security conditions, and it is feared that the number of people affected by the violence and in need of humanitarian assistance could be significantly higher. It is estimated that 3.2 million are at risk of extreme food insecurity, a number that will only rise in coming months. NGOs call on all armed actors to uphold their responsibilities under international humanitarian and human rights law, refrain from targeting civilians, respect the sanctity of civilian spaces, and permit immediate and unconditional humanitarian access to civilians in areas they control.

    The most basic needs of civilians in this conflict are growing by the hour. Already strained living conditions for those displaced inside UNMISS bases and outside in remote locations will deteriorate further if more civilians are subjected to violence and forced to flee. UNMISS peacekeepers play a critical role in saving lives. They must be reinforced with immediate and adequate peacekeeping capacities, and existing funding shortfalls need to be addressed. They must be also allowed to take robust action to provide protection to civilians in need. The humanitarian community needs all the support it can get to reduce needless suffering. The international community must rise to the challenge by increasing funding for the humanitarian response and urging all parties to the conflict to immediately stop violence against civilians and allow the safe and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in dire need.

    But this conflict will not end through these efforts alone. All parties to the conflict must immediately commit to respecting the cessation of hostilities agreement without exception, resume genuine talks in Addis Ababa and work towards a negotiated, inclusive political settlement.

    The NGO community in South Sudan remains steadfast in its commitment to providing humanitarian assistance, wherever needed, in an impartial, neutral and independent manner. The people of South Sudan more than ever deserve our concerted attention and efforts; inaction is not an option.

    International NGOs and South Sudanese civil society signatories:

    Acted
    ACORD
    Adeso
    Africa Educational Trust
    Amref Health Africa
    Baptist Relief Agency (BARA)
    Better World Campaign
    Care International
    Caritas Switzerland and Luxembourg
    CESVI
    Christian Aid
    COFAS
    Concern Worldwide
    Cordaid
    COSV
    Danish Church Aid
    Food for the Hungry
    Finn Church Aid
    Health Net TPO
    InterNews
    International Medical Corps
    International Rescue Committee
    INTERSOS
    Johanniter International
    Kissito Healthcare International
    Lutheran World Federation
    Malteser International
    Mercy Corps
    Mentor initiative
    Mine Action Group (MAG)
    National Relief and Development Corps (NRDC)
    Non Violent Peace Force
    Norwegian Refugee Council
    Oxfam
    Pact
    PAH
    Plan International
    People in Need
    Relief International
    Red R
    Rural Action Against Hunger
    Sign of Hope
    SNV
    Sudan Evangelical Mission
    Tearfund
    Terres Des Hommes
    Theso
    Troicaire
    World Relief
    World Vision
    Windle Trust International


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    Source: Association for Aid and Relief Japan, Concern Worldwide, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, HELP - Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V., Catholic Relief Services, Danish Refugee Council, Food for the Hungry, Adventist Development and Relief Agency International, Welthungerhilfe, DanChurchAid, Agency for Co-operation and Research in Development, ACTED, Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation, War Child International, Islamic Relief, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Norwegian Church Aid, Peace Winds Japan, Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation, INTERSOS, Tearfund, CARE, MENTOR Initiative, Terre des hommes, Caritas, International Aid Services, Pact, Women for Women International, Christian Aid, RedR, Mercy Corps, Cordaid, Handicap International, World Relief, People in Need, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Relief International, Save the Children, Plan, World Vision, BRAC
    Country: South Sudan

    Juba, 12 May 2014 – On 20 May 2014, the international community will convene in Oslo, Norway, to discuss how to address the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. In just under five months since fighting erupted, the situation in South Sudan has deteriorated severely, causing 1.3 million people to flee from their homes, including an estimated 300,000 to neighboring countries. Over 4 million people, including over 2.5 million children, are extremely vulnerable to food insecurity, as people have been displaced from their sources of survival. This crisis is worsening on a daily basis. Humanitarian actors have warned that by the end of this year half of all South Sudanese citizens could experience forced displacement (within the country or as a refugee), severe food insecurity, and/or threats to their protection. The undersigned non-governmental organizations (NGOs) call on the UN member states and others to urgently focus on clear and immediate actions to provide assistance to the people of South Sudan and to rally national, regional and international support to this end. Furthermore, an inclusive and viable political framework for ending conflict is critical. As such, we call for the following seven steps in order to provide coherent assistance to the people of South Sudan.

    1) Timely funding of the humanitarian response is critical to saving countless lives, preventing further suffering in the coming months, and supporting resilience to further shocks. Despite some generous contributions, the overall donor response to the humanitarian crisis has been disappointing. The UN humanitarian appeal for South Sudan for January-June 2014 remains sixty-one per cent unfunded. Based on Gross National Income, traditional donors have yet to contribute close to a quarter of their fair share to the emergency response in South Sudan. Aid transparency is an important part of a well coordinated and cost effective response. All donors, traditional and non-traditional, are encouraged to give aid that is proportional to the size of their economy and to fully disclose such donations.

    Enabling the delivery of large-scale humanitarian assistance will have a clear and tangible benefit in the immediate term, allowing supplies to be pre-positioned and delivered to affected populations. It will ensure that an already beleaguered population has access to life-saving water, sanitation, healthcare, shelter services and essential items, and to reinforce protection of the most vulnerable, particularly women and children. The Oslo conference presents an opportunity for donors to demonstrate their resolute commitment to addressing the humanitarian needs of the South Sudanese people, by generously contributing and rapidly disbursing funds to the humanitarian appeal and ensuring that all sectors are adequately funded.

    2) Protection of and respect for humanitarian staff, installations and operations is vital to allow the delivery of this assistance. Aid workers have been killed and thousands of national staff are unable to work in many areas due to fear of being targeted, and this is significantly undermining the humanitarian response. Aid workers must be free to deliver assistance wherever it is needed, without fear of attack or restrictions placed upon them by parties to the conflict.

    In addition to these difficulties, access to people in need and the ability to scale up the humanitarian response are further constrained by the imposition of targeted bureaucratic impediments, including difficulties in obtaining flight clearances and tax exemptions, and the stop-and-search of humanitarian convoys. For example, customs clearances are taking an average of five weeks to obtain.

    Donor governments must continue to urge all parties to the conflict to ensure the protection of humanitarian personnel and installations, enable the safe and unfettered movement of such personnel, equipment and supplies, and ease bureaucratic procedures to allow rapid delivery of assistance.

    3) In South Sudan political and financial support to the Government of South Sudan has, until now, been generally quite high, but support to the humanitarian needs of the people has sometimes wavered. Whilst recognizing the importance of building national institutions, the recent crisis has highlighted that a focus on ‘state building’ can come at the expense of supporting sustainable peace and development that all South Sudanese can benefit from. At this time, given the humanitarian impacts of the recent crisis, there is an imperative to protect the lives and security of all communities in South Sudan without delay.

    In the midst of the conflict, humanitarian partners on the ground have seen many positive examples of community commitments to non-violence and mutual support. In states currently less affected by the conflict, local authorities and leaders are working to protect their communities from slipping into crisis. In those states most affected by violence, NGOs and civil society organizations work tirelessly to provide health, education and other community services to the most vulnerable. While there are, and should be, serious questions about providing support to the parties to the conflict, help for the people of South Sudan should never be something that is up for debate. Because of the recent crisis, some donors have already reoriented their approach to direct funding for state building for certain purposes in South Sudan, and suspended some institutional support packages. We therefore recommend that suspended assistance to the Government of South Sudan for building state institutions should be re-programmed to national community services providers who offer the clearest way to support the people of South Sudan.

    4) Providing financial assistance cannot be an excuse for inaction or inertia at the political level. The people of South Sudan require a viable, inclusive and transparent mediation and political process.The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), despite its successes, failed to address some of the fundamental drivers of conflict and societal divisions that are being manipulated by political and military leaders. The CPA also sacrificed inclusivity in order to ensure agreement on key political and security goals. A much-needed reconciliation process was also insufficiently supported. We welcome the signing of an initial peace agreement on 9th May, that includes commitments to an immediate truce, cooperation with the IGAD Monitoring and Verification teams, and commitment to an inclusive dialogue. However, we are deeply concerned about the reports of violations of the ceasefire within hours of the signing of the agreement. The peace effort must offer tangible and immediate outcomes to enable affected populations to seek safety, access assistance and recover livelihoods. Even if peace is achieved, the crisis has created severe humanitarian needs that will require addressing well into next year.

    5) In addition to an inclusive mediation and political process to address this crisis, other measures need to be taken to immediately protect the people of South Sudan. The upcoming renewal of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) mandate - which current circumstances dictate be brought forward without delay - provides an opportunity to increase emphasis on the protection of civilians, and to provide greater clarity and resourcing for the UNMISS. A significant re-orientation of the UNMISS mandate and implementation framework is needed to enhance the credibility and acceptance of the mission amongst the population and to ensure UNMISS has the requisite tools to take preemptive action against threats to civilians, including those residing outside UNMISS bases. It further provides a platform from which to promote renewed respect of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) by all parties.

    6) UNMISS alone cannot protect the people of South Sudan in the face of the extraordinary violence being levied against them by the multiple armed groups in South Sudan. Engaging with clear and direct drivers of the conflict is imperative. There are reportedly one million small arms in South Sudan and they are widely available to all. Tougher domestic and international measures must be explored to curb the sale, transit and flow of arms to South Sudan.

    7) Finally, but importantly, accountability for the violence should be a critical component in any eventual political settlement and peace effort. Building towards justice and reconciliation in South Sudan should be the genuine aim of the international community, requiring sustained diplomatic efforts and political will.

    Signed by the following Non Governmental Organisations (NGO):

    1. ACTED
    2. ACORD
    3. Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)
    4. African Educational Trust (AET)
    5. Association for Aid and Relief (AAR-Japan)
    6. BRAC
    7. CAFOD
    8. Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
    9. Care
    10. Caritas Switzerland/Luxembourg
    11. Christian Aid
    12. Concern Worldwide
    13. Cordaid
    14. Coordinamento delle Organizzazioni per il Servizio Volontario (COSV)
    15. Danish Church Aid (DCA)
    16. Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
    17. Farm Africa
    18. Finn Church Aid
    19. Food for the Hungry
    20. Handicap International
    21. Health NET TPO
    22. HELP (Hilfe zue Selbsthifle e.v)
    23. IBIS, Education for Development
    24. ICCO
    25. International Aid Services (IAS)
    26. International Medical Corps (IMC)
    27. International Rescue Committee (IRC)
    28. Islamic Relief
    29. INTERSOS
    30. Islamic Relief
    31. Joint Aid Management (JAM)
    32. Light for the World
    33. Lutheran World Federation (LWF)
    34. Mercy Corps
    35. Mentor Initiative
    36. Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF)
    37. Non Violent Peace Force
    38. Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
    39. Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)
    40. Oxfam
    41. Pact
    42. PAX Netherlands
    43. Peace Winds Japan
    44. People in Need (PIN)
    45. Plan International
    46. Population Services International (PSI)
    47. RedR
    48. Relief International
    49. Save the Children
    50. Sign of Hope (Hoffnungszeichen)
    51. SNV Netherlands Development Organisation
    52. Tearfund
    53. Terre des Hommes
    54. War Child Holland
    55. War Child Canada
    56. Welthungerhilfe (German Agro Action)
    57. Windle Trust
    58. Women for Women International
    59. World Relief
    60. World Vision

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    Source: ActionAid, Danish Refugee Council, Amnesty International, ACTED, Medair, Islamic Relief, Norwegian Refugee Council, CARE, Caritas, Handicap International, Action Contre la Faim France, European Council on Refugees and Exiles, Médecins du Monde, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Un Ponte per, Qatar Red Crescent Society, Muslim Aid, Save the Children, Première Urgence Internationale, Support to Life
    Country: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey

    Humanitarian and human rights agencies urge governments to resettle 5% refugees from Syria by end 2015

    Over 30 international organisations are calling on governments meeting in Geneva tomorrow to commit to offering sanctuary to at least 5 per cent of the most vulnerable refugees from Syria currently in neighbouring countries - 180,000 people - by the end of 2015.

    The governments convened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will be making pledges to resettle or provide other forms of humanitarian admission to Syrian refugees. Up to 3.59 million people are projected to have fled the conflict into countries neighbouring Syria by the end of this year. To date the international community has pledged to resettle less than 2 per cent of this number over an unclear timeframe.

    Syria’s neighbouring countries have shown incredible generosity over the last three and a half years, but the strain of the crisis is weighing heavily on infrastructure and public services. Turkey and Lebanon each host more than 1 million registered refugees. One in every four residents in Lebanon is a refugee from Syria. Jordan hosts more than 618,000 and Iraq hosts 225,000 (on top of millions of internally displaced Iraqis). With diminishing resources, refugees and host communities are paying the price, as well as those still trying to flee the conflict in Syria as neighbouring countries restrict and effectively close their borders.

    “The situation for the most vulnerable refugees from Syria is becoming increasingly desperate. Some – including sick children, who without treatment, could die - are simply unable to survive in the region. Providing humanitarian aid alone is no longer an option: it’s time for wealthy governments to step up and extend a lifeline to 5 per cent of the refugee population by the end of 2015,” said Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children.

    “This is one of the worst refugee crises since World War II, displacing millions of civilians, mostly women and children,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International. “We’re counting on governments in Geneva to move quickly to demonstrate the kind of international solidarity that is desperately needed to transform the lives of the most vulnerable refugees.”

    While 5 per cent is only a small fraction of the total number of refugees, it would mean the hope of a better future and safety for at least 180,000 people by the end of next year, including survivors of torture, those with significant medical needs, children and women at risk – as identified by the UN refugee agency. Accepting the most vulnerable cases for resettlement or humanitarian admission also relieves Syria’s neighbouring countries from the short term costs of treating, supporting or protecting them.

    Resettlement pledge

    “With the collapse in the international solidarity, Syria’s neighbours are now increasing their border restrictions. Desperate Syrian civilians are unable to escape the war. Wealthy countries need to scale up their resettlement pledges and at the same time increase the support to the region so that borders are kept open,” said Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland.

    “Just because we happen to share no border with Syria, this does not free any of us from responsibility”.

    The coalition of NGOs are also calling on states that have not traditionally participated in refugee resettlement, such as countries in the Gulf and Latin America, to join other states by pledging resettlement and humanitarian admission places. Beyond this, governments can also do much more through innovative ways to help refugees from Syria in 2015, such as through making available work permits and university places, while offering them full protections in line with the 1951 Refugee Convention.

    Notes to editors

    The full brief adopted by the organisations listed below is available: Resettlement of Refugees from Syria: Increased commitments needed from international community in Geneva

    ABAAD (Liban)

    ACTED

    ACTIONAID

    ACTION CONTRE LA FAIM

    AMEL (Liban)

    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

    ASSOCIATION EUROPÉENNE POUR LA DÉFENSE DES DROITS DE L’HOMME

    CONSEIL BRITANNIQUE POUR LES RÉFUGIÉS

    CARE INTERNATIONAL

    CARITAS

    CENTRE FOR REFUGEE SOLIDARITY

    CHILDRENPLUS

    CIVIL SOCIETY IN PENETENTIARY SYSTEMS (Turquie)

    CONSEIL DANOIS POUR LES RÉFUGIÉS

    RÉSEAU EURO-MÉDITERRANÉEN DES DROITS DE L’HOMME

    CONSEIL EUROPÉEN SUR LES RÉFUGIÉS ET LES EXILÉS

    FRONTIERS RUWAD (Liban)

    HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL

    HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION (Turquie)

    THE INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE

    ISLAMIC RELIEF

    JREDS (Jordanie)

    CENTRE LIBANAIS DES DROITS HUMAINS

    LIGUE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME

    MÉDECINS DU MONDE

    MEDAIR

    MUSLIM AID

    CONSEIL NORVÉGIEN POUR LES RÉFUGIÉS

    OXFAM

    PREMIERE URGENCE- AIDE MÉDICALE INTERNATIONALE

    QATAR RED CRESCENT

    SAVE THE CHILDREN

    SAWA FOR DEVELOPMENT AND AID (Liban)

    SUPPORT TO LIFE (Turquie)

    SYRIA INGO REGIONAL FORUM

    UN PONTE PER

    Contact information

    Lebanon: Joelle Bassoul, Syria Response Media Advisor, Oxfam, jbassoul@oxfam.org.uk, +961-71525218

    Jordan: Karl Schembri, Regional Media Manager, Save the Children, karl.schembri@savethechildren.org, +962 (0) 7902 20159

    US: Oliver Money, Media Relations, International Rescue Committee, oliver.money@rescue.org, +1-646 318 7307

    UK: Sara Hashash, MENA Press Officer, Amnesty International, Sara.hashash@amnesty.org, + 44 (0) 20 7413 5511


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    Source: Association for Aid and Relief Japan, Concern Worldwide, Catholic Relief Services, ActionAid, American Refugee Committee International, Church World Service, Danish Refugee Council, Heifer International, InterAction, GOAL, Welthungerhilfe, ACTED, United Methodist News Service, Jesuit Refugee Service, UN Population Fund, Islamic Relief, UN Office of the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict, International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies, International Organization for Migration, World Health Organization, Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian Refugee Council, Tearfund, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, CARE, MENTOR Initiative, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Terre des hommes, Caritas, Netherlands Red Cross, World Food Programme, Mercy Corps, Handicap International, UN Children's Fund, MERCY Malaysia, People in Need, Médecins du Monde, International Orthodox Christian Charities, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Relief International, Acción contra el Hambre España, Refugees International, World Hope International, Save the Children, Plan, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, World Vision, BRAC, Women's Refugee Commission, ChildFund International, ACT Alliance, Global Communities
    Country: Syrian Arab Republic

    More than 120 humanitarian organizations and United Nations agencies issued a joint appeal today urging the world to raise their voices and call for an end to the Syria crisis and to the suffering endured by millions of civilians. The appeal also outlines a series of immediate, practical steps that can improve humanitarian access and the delivery of aid to those in need inside Syria. You are invited to “sign” the appeal simply by liking, sharing, and retweeting it.

    Three years ago, the leaders of UN humanitarian agencies issued an urgent appeal to those who could end the conflict in Syria. They called for every effort to save the Syrian people. “Enough”, they said, of the suffering and bloodshed.

    That was three years ago.

    Now, the war is approaching its sixth brutal year. The bloodshed continues. The suffering deepens.

    So today, we – leaders of humanitarian organisations and UN agencies - appeal not only to governments but to each of you - citizens around the world – to add your voices in urging an end to the carnage. To urge that all parties reach agreement on a ceasefire and a path to peace.

    More than ever before, the world needs to hear a collective public voice calling for an end to this outrage. Because this conflict and its consequences touch us all.

    It touches those in Syria who have lost loved ones and livelihoods, who have been uprooted from their homes, or who live in desperation under siege. Today, some 13.5 million people inside Syria need humanitarian assistance. That is not simply a statistic. These are 13.5 million individual human beings whose lives and futures are in jeopardy.

    It touches the families who, with few options for a better future, set out on perilous journeys to foreign lands in search of refuge. The war has seen 4.6 million people flee to neighbouring countries and beyond.

    It touches a generation of children and young people who – deprived of education and traumatized by the horrors they have experienced – increasingly see their future shaped only by violence.

    It touches those far beyond Syria who have seen the violent repercussions of the crisis reach the streets, offices and restaurants closer to their homes.

    And it touches all those around the world whose economic wellbeing is affected, in ways visible and invisible, by the conflict.

    Those with the ability to stop the suffering can - and therefore should - take action now. Until there is a diplomatic solution to the fighting, such action should include:

    • Unimpeded and sustained access for humanitarian organizations to bring immediate relief to all those in need inside Syria

    • Humanitarian pauses and unconditional, monitored ceasefires to allow food and other urgent assistance to be delivered to civilians, vaccinations and other health campaigns, and for children to return to school

    • A cessation of attacks on civilian infrastructure – so that schools and hospitals and water supplies are kept safe

    • Freedom of movement for all civilians and the immediate lifting of all sieges by all parties

    These are practical actions. There is no practical reason they could not be implemented if there is the will to do so.

    In the name of our shared humanity… for the sake of the millions of innocents who have already suffered so much… and for the millions more whose lives and futures hang in the balance, we call for action now.

    Now.

    ###

    21 January 2016

    Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Chairperson, BRAC, Bangladesh
    Zairulshahfuddin bin Zainal Abidin, Country Director, Islamic Relief Malaysia
    Ryoko Akamatsu, Chairperson, Japan Committee for UNICEF
    Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International
    Richard Allen, CEO, Mentor Initiative
    Dr. Haytham Alhamwi, Director, Rethink Rebuild
    Steen M. Andersen, Executive Director, Danish Committee for UNICEF
    Barry Andrews, CEO, GOAL Ireland
    Nancy A. Aossey, President and CEO, International Medical Corp
    Bernt G. Apeland, Executive Director, Norwegian Committee for UNICEF
    Dr. Mohamed Ashmawey, CEO, Islamic Relief Worldwide
    Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, CEO, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
    Lina Sergie Attar, co-founder and CEO, Karam Foundation
    Carmelo Angulo Barturen, President, Spanish Committee for UNICEF
    Gudrun Berger, Executive Director, Austrian Committee for UNICEF
    Tomaž Bergoč, Executive Director, Slovenian Foundation for UNICEF
    David Bull, Executive Director, United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF
    Marie-Pierre Caley, CEO, ACTED
    Adriano Campolina, Chief Executive, Actionaid
    CARE Netherlands
    Tineke Ceelen, Director, Stichting Vluchteling, Netherlands
    Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization
    Jonny Cline, Executive Director, The Israeli Fund for UNICEF
    Sarah Costa, Executive Director, Women’s Refugee Commission
    Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Programme
    Emese Danks, Executive Director, UNICEF Hungarian Committee Foundation
    Maryanne Diamond, Chair, International Disability Alliance
    Hisham Dirani, CEO, BINAA Organization for Development
    Edukans, Netherlands
    Jan Egeland, Secretary-General, Norwegian Refugee Council
    Patricia Erb, President and CEO, Save the Children Canada
    Sanem Bilgin Erkurt, Executive Director, Turkish National Committee for UNICEF
    Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO, Heifer International
    Amy Fong, Chief Executive, Save the Children Hong Kong
    Justin Forsyth, CEO, Save the Children UK
    Michel Gabaudan, President, Refugees International
    Meg Gardinier, Secretary General, ChildFund Alliance
    Global Call to Action against Poverty
    Mark Goldring, Chief Executive, Oxfam Great Britain
    Pavla Gomba, Executive Director, Czech Committee for UNICEF
    Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Madalena Grilo, Executive Director, Portuguese Committee for UNICEF
    Noreen Gumbo, Head of Humanitarian Programmes, Trócaire
    Handicap International, Belgium
    Abdullah Hanoun, CEO, Syrian Community of the South West UK
    Heather Hayden, Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children New Zealand
    Dr. Dirk Hegmanns, Regional Director Turkey/Syria/Iraq, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe
    Anne-Marie Helland, General Secretary, Norwegian Church Aid
    Anne Hery, Director for Advocacy and Institutional Relations, Handicap International
    International Organization for Migration, Netherlands
    W. Douglas Jackson, President and CEO, PROJECT C.U.R.E.
    Wolfgang Jamann, Secretary General, Care International
    Kevin Jenkins, President and CEO, World Vision International
    Bergsteinn Jónsson, Executive Director, Icelandic National Committee for UNICEF
    Benoit Van Keirsbilck, Director, DEI-Belgique
    Thomas G. Kemper, General Secretary, General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church
    Neal Keny-Guyer, Chief Executive Officer, Mercy Corps
    Kerk in Actie, Netherlands Marja-Riitta Ketola, Executive Director, Finnish Committee for UNICEF
    Peter Klansoe, Regional Director, Danish Refugee Council, Middle East North Africa region
    Pim Kraan, Director, Save the Children Netherlands
    Marek Krupiński, Executive Director, Polish National Committee for UNICEF
    Dr. Hans Kuenzle, Chair, Swiss Committee for UNICEF
    Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF
    Jane Lau, Chief Executive, Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF
    Lavinia Limón, President and CEO, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
    Jonas Keiding Lindholm, CEO Save the Children Denmark
    Rosa G. Lizarde, Global Director, Feminist Task Force
    Olivier Longue, CEO, Accion Contra el Hambre
    John Lyon, President, World Hope International
    Sébastien Lyon, Executive Director, French Committee for UNICEF
    Dominic MacSorley, Chief Executive Officer, Concern Worldwide
    Dirk Van Maele, Director, Plan België
    Cécil Van Maelsaeke, Director, Tearfund, Belgium
    Vivien Maidaborn, Executive Director, The New Zealand National Committee for UNICEF
    Blanca Palau Mallol, President, Andorran Committee for UNICEF
    Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO, Church World Service
    Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children USA
    David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee
    Mr. Juraj Mišura, President, Slovak Committee for UNICEF
    James Mitchum, Chief Executive Officer, Heart to Heart International
    David Morley, President and CEO, Canadian UNICEF Committee
    John Nduna, General Secretary, ACT Alliance Stephen
    O’Brien, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund
    Ignacio Packer, Secretary-General, Terre des Hommes International Federation
    People in Need
    Dato Dr Ahmad Faizal Perdaus, President, Mercy Malaysia
    Plan, Norway
    Peter Power, Executive Director, UNICEF Ireland
    Sarina Prabasi, Chief Executive Officer, WaterAid America
    Chris Proulx, President and CEO, LINGOS, United States
    Dr. Jihad Qaddour, President, Syria Relief and Development
    Red Cross, Netherlands
    Curtis N. Rhodes Jr., International Director, Questscope
    Michel Roy, Secretary General, Caritas International
    Paolo Rozera, Executive Director, Italian Committee for UNICEF
    Dr. Tessie San Martin, President and CEO, Plan International USA
    Christian Schneider, Executive Director, German Committee for UNICEF
    Rev. Thomas H. Smolich, S.J. International Director, Jesuit Refugee Service
    Janti Soeripto, Interim CEO, Save the Children, International
    SOS Kinderdorpen, Netherlands
    Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO, United States Fund for UNICEF
    Marie Soueid, Policy Counsel, Center for Victims of Torture
    John Stewart, President, Australian Committee for UNICEF
    Limited Odd Swarting, Chair, Swedish Committee for UNICEF
    William L. Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration
    Florence Syevuo, Global Call to Action against Poverty, Kenya
    Daigo Takagi, Association for Aid and Relief, Japan
    Tearfund, UK
    Terre des Hommes International Federation
    Constantine M. Triantafilou, Executive Director and CEO, International Orthodox Christian Charities
    Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches
    Monique van ‘t Hek, Director, Plan Nederland
    Dr. William Vendley, Secretary General, Religions for Peace
    Pierre Verbeeren, Director, Medecins du Monde, Belgium
    Damien Vincent, Executive Director, Belgium Committee for UNICEF
    Sandra Visscher, Executive Director, Luxembourg Committee for UNICEF
    Vrouwen tegen Uitzetting, Netherlands
    Tove Wang, CEO, Save the Children Norway
    David A. Weiss, President and CEO, Global Communities
    Kathrin Wieland, CEO, Save the Children Germany
    Jan Bouke Wijbrandi, Executive Director, Dutch Committee for UNICEF
    Nancy E. Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Relief International
    Carolyn Woo, President and CEO, Catholic Relief Services
    Daniel Wordsworth, President and CEO, American Refugee Committee
    Samuel A. Worthington, CEO, InterAction
    Leila Zerrougui, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
    Mohammad Zia-ur-Rehman, Chief Executive, AwazCDS and Pakistan Development Alliance

    ###

    About UNICEF

    UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work, visit: www.unicef.org

    Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

    For more information contact: Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, nmekki@unicef.org +1 917 209 1804


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    Source: Association for Aid and Relief Japan, Concern Worldwide, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, HELP - Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V., Danish Refugee Council, Welthungerhilfe, ACTED, War Child International, Trócaire, Islamic Relief, International Alert, Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation, Tearfund, CARE, MENTOR Initiative, Caritas, Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, Women for Women International, Christian Aid, Mercy Corps, Handicap International, People in Need, Médecins du Monde, Mines Advisory Group, International Rescue Committee, Kvinna Till Kvinna, Kindernothilfe, Save the Children, World Vision
    Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic

    Background

    Five years into a conflict that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, conditions confronting civilians in Syria continue to deteriorate, particularly for children and youth. Warring parties continue to violate UN Security Council resolutions and international humanitarian law by deliberately and wantonly attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure, including homes, markets, schools and hospitals leaving a deadly legacy of Unexploded Ordnance.

    Widespread loss of documentation further challenges civilians’ freedom to move inside Syria, hindering their ability to reach safe areas, access assistance, and ultimately seek asylum. Meanwhile, as needs increase, the availability of basic protection and services such as health, education and livelihoods for the almost 4.6 million Syrians sheltering in neighbouring countries is diminishing. Access to legal stay and legal employment is limited, and poverty rates are rising to unprecedented levels. More and more refugees are exhausting their financial reserves and sinking deeper into debt, forcing them to accept exploitative work, driving impoverished parents to send their children into exploitative child labour, forcing desperate women and girls into survival sex and early marriage, and leading men, women and children to return to Syria, or try to reach Europe and third countries through informal channels, at great risk to their lives.

    As Syrian, national and international non-governmental organisations providing humanitarian assistance to those affected by the Syria crisis, we have since 2011 repeatedly stressed that only a political solution and an end to the conflict can spare Syrian civilians further violence, trauma and misery. The Vienna process launched in October 2015 may yield such an outcome, but the urgent humanitarian, protection, health, educational and livelihoods needs of Syrians cannot be put on hold while national, regional and international leaders work to overcome their differences. A whole generation risks losing its future: six million children affected by the conflict are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. More than half of children living as refugees in countries neighbouring Syria are not in school. In addition 30 per cent of refugees have specific needs with one in five affected by physical, sensory or intellectual impairment, requiring immediate and long term effort for all to access services.Moreover, present and future stability in the Syria region depends on the development community’s ability to positively engage, equip, and empower a critical generation of youth who will someday rebuild their communities/society/economy.

    To ensure the needs of Syrians living under daily conflict are met it is absolutely vital that the UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria and that the 3RP Regional Refugee & Resilience Plan 2016-2017 are fully funded throughout all sectors and for all host countries.

    We ask that the international community be bold in its ambitions and commit to providing ‘compacts’ which strive to improve protection, educational and economic opportunities for Syrians. It is against this backdrop that we collectively submit the following recommendations to national governments and other stakeholders.


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    Source: Action Contre la Faim France, Adventist Development and Relief Agency International, ACTED, American Refugee Committee International, CARE, Caritas, Cordaid, DanChurchAid, Danish Refugee Council, GOAL, Handicap International, HealthNet TPO, International Aid Services, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Malteser, Medair, Mercy Corps, Merlin, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam, Plan, Relief International, Saferworld, Save the Children, World Vision
    Country: South Sudan

    Aid agencies urge donors to get priorities for newest nation right from the start

    A coalition of 38 aid agencies today (Tuesday 06 September 2011) called on donors not to squander the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people of South Sudan, the world’s newest nation. The call came as new violence in Jonglei state increased emergency needs.

    Donors are due to meet with Government of South Sudan officials over the next coming months to discuss development priorities. The country is one of the poorest in the world, with half the population living below the poverty line and, after decades of brutal war, is being built up almost from scratch.

    In a joint report, the aid agencies, which include Oxfam, World Vision and the South Sudan Law Society, said it was vital that donors get their priorities for tackling poverty right from the start. The report outlines key priorities for donors working to improve lives in South Sudan.

    Mary Kudla, Acting Country Director from Oxfam in South Sudan said:

    “The war is over, and the struggle for independence achieved, but the struggle to ensure peace and safety for all and win the battle against extreme poverty in South Sudan is only just beginning. Today a 15 year girl is more likely to die in childbirth than finish school and people are still being displaced from their homes due to new violence. The excitement following the birth of a nation is hard to overstate, but the disillusionment following a failure to deliver change for the poorest would be equally severe. Donors need to get their policies on South Sudan right from the start.”

    Crucially the report calls on donors to continue to provide emergency aid to the volatile nation and improve their understanding of conflict dynamics. Already this year, some 2, 611 people have been killed in violent conflicts, with tribal clashes in Jonglei State in mid-August resulting in the deaths of at least 340 people and displacement of 26, 800. A further 275,000 people have already been displaced by violence this year which has hindered much needed agriculture and crop cultivation.

    Dong Samuel Luak, Secretary-General from the South Sudan Law Society said:

    “South Sudan has a complex mix of emergency, recovery and development needs. The country remains vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods and drought and is still susceptible to conflicts. As the recent clashes in Jonglei show, people still need emergency aid. Sustained humanitarian funding is required, along with increased support for basic services and security and justice provision.

    The report also calls on donors to build up the capacity of the government of South Sudan, so it is able to provide more and better services for its people including effective security and rule of law across the country. Government structures are extremely weak and being built up from almost nothing, especially outside the main towns. The agencies say that it will take time for South Sudan to assume full responsibility for the delivery of services. NGOs are currently responsible for the majority of basic service delivery in South Sudan, such as health, education and water and sanitation, and it’s vital that donors continue supporting these services as they support the government to build up its capacity to deliver these services itself.

    The aid agencies also urged donors to support agriculture and income generating opportunities for the poorest communities Currently only an estimated 4 per cent of arable land is cultivated, the production of livestock and fish is just a fraction of the potential and exports and trade between different regions of South Sudan are minimal.

    Edwin Asante, Programme Director from World Vision South Sudan said:

    “In Western Equatoria mangos lie rotting on the ground while traders import juice from neighbouring Uganda. The local farmers’ association wants to buy a juicing machine, but they don’t have the money. Across the country, there is a complete absence of equipment and technology that would help South Sudanese farmers add value to their products. Wheat flour, maize flour, sugar and palm oil all available in abundance in their raw forms, are imported from neighbouring countries. Donors could change this and tap into South Sudan’s untapped potential.”

    The agencies also called on donors and the government to help build up social protection schemes to help the most vulnerable in South Sudan, such as cash transfers for those prone to food insecurity.

    ENDS

    Notes to editors:

    Aid agencies that have signed up to the report are: Action Against Hunger, ACTED, ADRA South Sudan, American Refugee Committee, Association for Aid and Relief, Japan, AVSI, CARE, Caritas Luxembourg and Switzerland, CHF International, Cordaid, DanChurchAid, Danish Refugee Council, GOAL Ireland, Handicap International, HealthNet TPO, Humane Development Council, International Aid Services, ICCO, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, JEN, Malaria Consortium, Malteser International, Medair, Mennonite Central Committee, Mercy Corps, Merlin, Mission Aviation Fellowship International, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam, Pact, Plan South Sudan, Population Services International, Relief International, Saferworld, Save the Children, South Sudan Law Society, and World Vision.

    For further information please contact:

    Rebecca Wynn , Media Officer, Oxfam + 44 (0) 1865 472530 or + 44 (0) 7769 887139 or rwynn@oxfam.org.uk


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    Source: Association for Aid and Relief Japan, Concern Worldwide, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, HELP - Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V., Food for the Hungry, Welthungerhilfe, ACTED, Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation, War Child International, Medair, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Norwegian Refugee Council, INTERSOS, Tearfund, CARE, MENTOR Initiative, Terre des hommes, Caritas, International Aid Services, Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, Christian Aid, Mercy Corps, Cordaid, Handicap International, Action Contre la Faim France, World Relief, People in Need, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Relief International, African Medical and Research Foundation, Save the Children, Plan, World Vision, World Renew
    Country: South Sudan

    Juba, South Sudan, 25th January 2014 - Fifty-five major humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in South Sudan have expressed their deep concern about the current humanitarian situation in the country and reaffirmed their commitment to help all civilian populations in need of assistance.

    The fifty-five NGOs have been deeply alarmed at the scale of human suffering seen in the country in the past six weeks, and so welcome the recent signing in Addis Ababa of a cessation of hostilities agreement between the Government of South Sudan and the opposition forces, and trust that it will lead to a swift reduction in the suffering of civilians. In this regards, the agencies continue to call upon all parties to the conflict to protect civilians, to refrain from targeting attacks on civilian areas, and to distinguish between civilians and combatants.

    The NGOs themselves operate in accordance with the four key humanitarian principles of:

    • The Humanitarian Imperative: NGOs seek to alleviate human suffering, wherever it is found.

    • Impartiality: aid is given regardless of the race, creed or nationality of the recipients and without adverse distinction of any kind. Aid priorities are calculated on the basis of need alone.

    • Neutrality: aid is not used to further a particular political or religious standpoint, and NGOs do not take sides in a conflict.

    • Independence: NGOs formulate their own policies and implementation strategies and do not seek to implement the foreign policy of any government.

    “The humanitarian imperative means that we seek to provide assistance to any civilians who may need it”, explained Wendy Taeuber, Country Director of the International Rescue Committee. “Collectively, we want to be able to help all people in need, wherever they may be located in South Sudan and regardless of who is controlling that area”.

    However, the NGOs emphasized that in order to be able to provide assistance to those who need it, it is essential that all actors recognize the independence of NGOs, and ensure respect and protection for their staff, assets, facilities and humanitarian activities. “We call upon all parties to the conflict to allow unimpeded humanitarian access, and to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of our staff” said Caroline Boyd, Medair’s Country Director.

    “Violence against aid-workers is always unacceptable” added Alan Paul, Country Director of Save the Children, “and any restrictions on the movements or activities of NGOs simply hinder us from providing vital assistance to those South Sudanese who need it most”. Sadly, at least 3 aid-workers, all South Sudanese nationals, have been killed since 15th December.

    “Access is urgently needed”, noted Mercy Corps’ Country Director Mathieu Rouquette, “as the rainy season will be starting in just a few months, which will make it difficult to transport supplies and leave some locations entirely cutoff”.

    The NGOs reiterated that their neutrality means they are separate from any military actor or party to the conflict, and they maintain impartiality by providing assistance on the basis of need alone. “Although some NGOs are currently providing assistance to displaced people seeking shelter within UNMISS bases, we are maintaining our independence and respecting humanitarian principles as separate entities from UNMISS” explained Emilie Poisson, Country Director of ACTED.

    Background

    South Sudan

    South Sudan gained independence on 9th July 2011, and is the world’s newest country. Out of a population of about 12 million, it is estimated that more than half a million people have been displaced since fighting broke out just over one month ago.

    Humanitarian Principles

    Further details on humanitarian principles are given in the Code of Conduct for The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief, available at www.ifrc.org/en/publications-and-reports/code-ofconduct/

    The Fifty-Five NGOs

    The majority of the fifty-five NGOs have been working in South Sudan for at least ten years, and several have been present for more than 30 years. In 2013, the agencies collectively spent over one-quarter of a billion US dollars on humanitarian and development programmes to assist the people of South Sudan.

    Each NGO is registered in South Sudan with the Ministry of Justice and the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC), and every NGO is obliged to respect the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, and abide by the country’s laws.


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    Source: Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, HealthNet TPO, ACTED, Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation, Malteser, ZOA, Norwegian Refugee Council, Tearfund, CARE, Caritas, Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, Pact, People in Need, Mines Advisory Group, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Adeso, World Vision, ACT Alliance
    Country: South Sudan

    New Report Warns of Worsening Humanitarian Disaster in South Sudan

    CARE urges global community to act now to help nearly 7 million at risk

    Juba, South Sudan — A new report on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan warns that the safety and food security of nearly 7 million people will deteriorate rapidly without a swift, international response. CARE urges the global community to do more to provide urgently needed food and health aid as well as help stop the violent conflict that has precipitated this humanitarian crisis.

    Today CARE and 21 other aid and humanitarian agencies published Loaded Guns and Empty Stomachs, a new report on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan. The report details how the current violent conflict has sparked a rapidly worsening food crisis in an already vulnerable country. Its authors, including CARE, urge the international community to work toward a negotiated political settlement to the current conflict while scaling up aid for vital food and health services.

    "CARE just finished a rapid response mission in Pagak in Upper Nile state where we saw women and children bearing the weight of this conflict and the beginning of what may be a serious food crisis,” says Aimee Ansari, CARE country director for South Sudan. “The international community has to invest more in health, nutrition, water and sanitation now. Once the rainy season begins, many of the most vulnerable people will be unreachable.”

    More than one million people have been forced from their homes and livelihoods by violent conflict that began in South Sudan in December 2013. With farmers forced from their land and unable to plant or harvest, the 3.7 million people already in need of immediate food assistance will grow rapidly. Additionally, markets and vital health facilities across the country have been destroyed.

    Loaded Guns and Empty Stomachs notes that, before violence broke out in December, South Sudan’s food security was the best it had been in five years. The current conflict threatens to quickly erase South Sudan’s significant progress. Already, feeding centers in Jonglei and Upper Nile have reported seeing twice as many malnourished children in January 2014 as they did the prior January.

    Media Contact

    Dan Alder, (Juba): dalder@ss.care.org, Nairobi mobile +254-0-706 223 998; Juba mobile: +211-0-959 100 145

    Nicole Harris (Atlanta): nharris@care.org, +1 404-979-9503, +1 404-735-0871


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    Source: Concern Worldwide, HealthNet TPO, Food for the Hungry, CESVI - Cooperazione e Sviluppo Onlus, DanChurchAid, Agency for Co-operation and Research in Development, ACTED, Malteser, Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation, INTERSOS, Tearfund, CARE, Terre des hommes, Caritas, Internews Network, Nonviolent Peaceforce, Pact, Christian Aid, RedR, Mercy Corps, Cordaid, Polish Humanitarian Action - Polska Akcja Humanitarna, World Relief, People in Need, Mines Advisory Group, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Relief International, Adeso, Plan, World Vision, Amref Health Africa
    Country: South Sudan

    Juba, 26th April 2014

    The undersigned non-governmental organisations (NG0s) express deep concern at the serious escalation in violence in South Sudan, which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and is exacerbating an already profound humanitarian crisis. We strongly condemn all attacks that have taken place against civilians during this conflict, most recently at the UN peacekeeping base in Bor on 17th April and in the town of Bentiu on 15th-18th April. Civilians have been targeted on the basis of their ethnicity, others indiscriminately killed, and many subjected to unspeakable grave human rights abuses including rape.

    Widespread violence against civilians has reportedly been committed since December 2013, but recent events display a serious deepening of the conflict and callous disregard for civilian life and international humanitarian law. So far an estimated 1 million people have been forced from their homes; of these over 90,000 people are sheltering in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) bases across the country. Thousands of people have fled to the UN peacekeeping base in Bentiu for fear of reprisal attacks in the past week. Many areas outside the main towns remain inaccessible due to security conditions, and it is feared that the number of people affected by the violence and in need of humanitarian assistance could be significantly higher. It is estimated that 3.2 million are at risk of extreme food insecurity, a number that will only rise in coming months. NGOs call on all armed actors to uphold their responsibilities under international humanitarian and human rights law, refrain from targeting civilians, respect the sanctity of civilian spaces, and permit immediate and unconditional humanitarian access to civilians in areas they control.

    The most basic needs of civilians in this conflict are growing by the hour. Already strained living conditions for those displaced inside UNMISS bases and outside in remote locations will deteriorate further if more civilians are subjected to violence and forced to flee. UNMISS peacekeepers play a critical role in saving lives. They must be reinforced with immediate and adequate peacekeeping capacities, and existing funding shortfalls need to be addressed. They must be also allowed to take robust action to provide protection to civilians in need. The humanitarian community needs all the support it can get to reduce needless suffering. The international community must rise to the challenge by increasing funding for the humanitarian response and urging all parties to the conflict to immediately stop violence against civilians and allow the safe and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in dire need.

    But this conflict will not end through these efforts alone. All parties to the conflict must immediately commit to respecting the cessation of hostilities agreement without exception, resume genuine talks in Addis Ababa and work towards a negotiated, inclusive political settlement.

    The NGO community in South Sudan remains steadfast in its commitment to providing humanitarian assistance, wherever needed, in an impartial, neutral and independent manner. The people of South Sudan more than ever deserve our concerted attention and efforts; inaction is not an option.

    International NGOs and South Sudanese civil society signatories:

    Acted
    ACORD
    Adeso
    Africa Educational Trust
    Amref Health Africa
    Baptist Relief Agency (BARA)
    Better World Campaign
    Care International
    Caritas Switzerland and Luxembourg
    CESVI
    Christian Aid
    COFAS
    Concern Worldwide
    Cordaid
    COSV
    Danish Church Aid
    Food for the Hungry
    Finn Church Aid
    Health Net TPO
    InterNews
    International Medical Corps
    International Rescue Committee
    INTERSOS
    Johanniter International
    Kissito Healthcare International
    Lutheran World Federation
    Malteser International
    Mercy Corps
    Mentor initiative
    Mine Action Group (MAG)
    National Relief and Development Corps (NRDC)
    Non Violent Peace Force
    Norwegian Refugee Council
    Oxfam
    Pact
    PAH
    Plan International
    People in Need
    Relief International
    Red R
    Rural Action Against Hunger
    Sign of Hope
    SNV
    Sudan Evangelical Mission
    Tearfund
    Terres Des Hommes
    Theso
    Troicaire
    World Relief
    World Vision
    Windle Trust International


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    Source: Association for Aid and Relief Japan, Concern Worldwide, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, HELP - Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V., Catholic Relief Services, Danish Refugee Council, Food for the Hungry, Adventist Development and Relief Agency International, Welthungerhilfe, DanChurchAid, Agency for Co-operation and Research in Development, ACTED, Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation, War Child International, Islamic Relief, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Norwegian Church Aid, Peace Winds Japan, Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation, INTERSOS, Tearfund, CARE, MENTOR Initiative, Terre des hommes, Caritas, International Aid Services, Pact, Women for Women International, Christian Aid, RedR, Mercy Corps, Cordaid, Handicap International, World Relief, People in Need, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Relief International, Save the Children, Plan, World Vision, BRAC
    Country: South Sudan

    Juba, 12 May 2014 – On 20 May 2014, the international community will convene in Oslo, Norway, to discuss how to address the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. In just under five months since fighting erupted, the situation in South Sudan has deteriorated severely, causing 1.3 million people to flee from their homes, including an estimated 300,000 to neighboring countries. Over 4 million people, including over 2.5 million children, are extremely vulnerable to food insecurity, as people have been displaced from their sources of survival. This crisis is worsening on a daily basis. Humanitarian actors have warned that by the end of this year half of all South Sudanese citizens could experience forced displacement (within the country or as a refugee), severe food insecurity, and/or threats to their protection. The undersigned non-governmental organizations (NGOs) call on the UN member states and others to urgently focus on clear and immediate actions to provide assistance to the people of South Sudan and to rally national, regional and international support to this end. Furthermore, an inclusive and viable political framework for ending conflict is critical. As such, we call for the following seven steps in order to provide coherent assistance to the people of South Sudan.

    1) Timely funding of the humanitarian response is critical to saving countless lives, preventing further suffering in the coming months, and supporting resilience to further shocks. Despite some generous contributions, the overall donor response to the humanitarian crisis has been disappointing. The UN humanitarian appeal for South Sudan for January-June 2014 remains sixty-one per cent unfunded. Based on Gross National Income, traditional donors have yet to contribute close to a quarter of their fair share to the emergency response in South Sudan. Aid transparency is an important part of a well coordinated and cost effective response. All donors, traditional and non-traditional, are encouraged to give aid that is proportional to the size of their economy and to fully disclose such donations.

    Enabling the delivery of large-scale humanitarian assistance will have a clear and tangible benefit in the immediate term, allowing supplies to be pre-positioned and delivered to affected populations. It will ensure that an already beleaguered population has access to life-saving water, sanitation, healthcare, shelter services and essential items, and to reinforce protection of the most vulnerable, particularly women and children. The Oslo conference presents an opportunity for donors to demonstrate their resolute commitment to addressing the humanitarian needs of the South Sudanese people, by generously contributing and rapidly disbursing funds to the humanitarian appeal and ensuring that all sectors are adequately funded.

    2) Protection of and respect for humanitarian staff, installations and operations is vital to allow the delivery of this assistance. Aid workers have been killed and thousands of national staff are unable to work in many areas due to fear of being targeted, and this is significantly undermining the humanitarian response. Aid workers must be free to deliver assistance wherever it is needed, without fear of attack or restrictions placed upon them by parties to the conflict.

    In addition to these difficulties, access to people in need and the ability to scale up the humanitarian response are further constrained by the imposition of targeted bureaucratic impediments, including difficulties in obtaining flight clearances and tax exemptions, and the stop-and-search of humanitarian convoys. For example, customs clearances are taking an average of five weeks to obtain.

    Donor governments must continue to urge all parties to the conflict to ensure the protection of humanitarian personnel and installations, enable the safe and unfettered movement of such personnel, equipment and supplies, and ease bureaucratic procedures to allow rapid delivery of assistance.

    3) In South Sudan political and financial support to the Government of South Sudan has, until now, been generally quite high, but support to the humanitarian needs of the people has sometimes wavered. Whilst recognizing the importance of building national institutions, the recent crisis has highlighted that a focus on ‘state building’ can come at the expense of supporting sustainable peace and development that all South Sudanese can benefit from. At this time, given the humanitarian impacts of the recent crisis, there is an imperative to protect the lives and security of all communities in South Sudan without delay.

    In the midst of the conflict, humanitarian partners on the ground have seen many positive examples of community commitments to non-violence and mutual support. In states currently less affected by the conflict, local authorities and leaders are working to protect their communities from slipping into crisis. In those states most affected by violence, NGOs and civil society organizations work tirelessly to provide health, education and other community services to the most vulnerable. While there are, and should be, serious questions about providing support to the parties to the conflict, help for the people of South Sudan should never be something that is up for debate. Because of the recent crisis, some donors have already reoriented their approach to direct funding for state building for certain purposes in South Sudan, and suspended some institutional support packages. We therefore recommend that suspended assistance to the Government of South Sudan for building state institutions should be re-programmed to national community services providers who offer the clearest way to support the people of South Sudan.

    4) Providing financial assistance cannot be an excuse for inaction or inertia at the political level. The people of South Sudan require a viable, inclusive and transparent mediation and political process.The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), despite its successes, failed to address some of the fundamental drivers of conflict and societal divisions that are being manipulated by political and military leaders. The CPA also sacrificed inclusivity in order to ensure agreement on key political and security goals. A much-needed reconciliation process was also insufficiently supported. We welcome the signing of an initial peace agreement on 9th May, that includes commitments to an immediate truce, cooperation with the IGAD Monitoring and Verification teams, and commitment to an inclusive dialogue. However, we are deeply concerned about the reports of violations of the ceasefire within hours of the signing of the agreement. The peace effort must offer tangible and immediate outcomes to enable affected populations to seek safety, access assistance and recover livelihoods. Even if peace is achieved, the crisis has created severe humanitarian needs that will require addressing well into next year.

    5) In addition to an inclusive mediation and political process to address this crisis, other measures need to be taken to immediately protect the people of South Sudan. The upcoming renewal of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) mandate - which current circumstances dictate be brought forward without delay - provides an opportunity to increase emphasis on the protection of civilians, and to provide greater clarity and resourcing for the UNMISS. A significant re-orientation of the UNMISS mandate and implementation framework is needed to enhance the credibility and acceptance of the mission amongst the population and to ensure UNMISS has the requisite tools to take preemptive action against threats to civilians, including those residing outside UNMISS bases. It further provides a platform from which to promote renewed respect of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) by all parties.

    6) UNMISS alone cannot protect the people of South Sudan in the face of the extraordinary violence being levied against them by the multiple armed groups in South Sudan. Engaging with clear and direct drivers of the conflict is imperative. There are reportedly one million small arms in South Sudan and they are widely available to all. Tougher domestic and international measures must be explored to curb the sale, transit and flow of arms to South Sudan.

    7) Finally, but importantly, accountability for the violence should be a critical component in any eventual political settlement and peace effort. Building towards justice and reconciliation in South Sudan should be the genuine aim of the international community, requiring sustained diplomatic efforts and political will.

    Signed by the following Non Governmental Organisations (NGO):

    1. ACTED
    2. ACORD
    3. Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)
    4. African Educational Trust (AET)
    5. Association for Aid and Relief (AAR-Japan)
    6. BRAC
    7. CAFOD
    8. Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
    9. Care
    10. Caritas Switzerland/Luxembourg
    11. Christian Aid
    12. Concern Worldwide
    13. Cordaid
    14. Coordinamento delle Organizzazioni per il Servizio Volontario (COSV)
    15. Danish Church Aid (DCA)
    16. Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
    17. Farm Africa
    18. Finn Church Aid
    19. Food for the Hungry
    20. Handicap International
    21. Health NET TPO
    22. HELP (Hilfe zue Selbsthifle e.v)
    23. IBIS, Education for Development
    24. ICCO
    25. International Aid Services (IAS)
    26. International Medical Corps (IMC)
    27. International Rescue Committee (IRC)
    28. Islamic Relief
    29. INTERSOS
    30. Islamic Relief
    31. Joint Aid Management (JAM)
    32. Light for the World
    33. Lutheran World Federation (LWF)
    34. Mercy Corps
    35. Mentor Initiative
    36. Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF)
    37. Non Violent Peace Force
    38. Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
    39. Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)
    40. Oxfam
    41. Pact
    42. PAX Netherlands
    43. Peace Winds Japan
    44. People in Need (PIN)
    45. Plan International
    46. Population Services International (PSI)
    47. RedR
    48. Relief International
    49. Save the Children
    50. Sign of Hope (Hoffnungszeichen)
    51. SNV Netherlands Development Organisation
    52. Tearfund
    53. Terre des Hommes
    54. War Child Holland
    55. War Child Canada
    56. Welthungerhilfe (German Agro Action)
    57. Windle Trust
    58. Women for Women International
    59. World Relief
    60. World Vision

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    Source: ActionAid, Danish Refugee Council, Amnesty International, ACTED, Medair, Islamic Relief, Norwegian Refugee Council, CARE, Caritas, Handicap International, Action Contre la Faim France, European Council on Refugees and Exiles, Médecins du Monde, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Un Ponte per, Qatar Red Crescent Society, Muslim Aid, Save the Children, Première Urgence Internationale, Support to Life
    Country: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey

    Humanitarian and human rights agencies urge governments to resettle 5% refugees from Syria by end 2015

    Over 30 international organisations are calling on governments meeting in Geneva tomorrow to commit to offering sanctuary to at least 5 per cent of the most vulnerable refugees from Syria currently in neighbouring countries - 180,000 people - by the end of 2015.

    The governments convened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will be making pledges to resettle or provide other forms of humanitarian admission to Syrian refugees. Up to 3.59 million people are projected to have fled the conflict into countries neighbouring Syria by the end of this year. To date the international community has pledged to resettle less than 2 per cent of this number over an unclear timeframe.

    Syria’s neighbouring countries have shown incredible generosity over the last three and a half years, but the strain of the crisis is weighing heavily on infrastructure and public services. Turkey and Lebanon each host more than 1 million registered refugees. One in every four residents in Lebanon is a refugee from Syria. Jordan hosts more than 618,000 and Iraq hosts 225,000 (on top of millions of internally displaced Iraqis). With diminishing resources, refugees and host communities are paying the price, as well as those still trying to flee the conflict in Syria as neighbouring countries restrict and effectively close their borders.

    “The situation for the most vulnerable refugees from Syria is becoming increasingly desperate. Some – including sick children, who without treatment, could die - are simply unable to survive in the region. Providing humanitarian aid alone is no longer an option: it’s time for wealthy governments to step up and extend a lifeline to 5 per cent of the refugee population by the end of 2015,” said Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children.

    “This is one of the worst refugee crises since World War II, displacing millions of civilians, mostly women and children,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International. “We’re counting on governments in Geneva to move quickly to demonstrate the kind of international solidarity that is desperately needed to transform the lives of the most vulnerable refugees.”

    While 5 per cent is only a small fraction of the total number of refugees, it would mean the hope of a better future and safety for at least 180,000 people by the end of next year, including survivors of torture, those with significant medical needs, children and women at risk – as identified by the UN refugee agency. Accepting the most vulnerable cases for resettlement or humanitarian admission also relieves Syria’s neighbouring countries from the short term costs of treating, supporting or protecting them.

    Resettlement pledge

    “With the collapse in the international solidarity, Syria’s neighbours are now increasing their border restrictions. Desperate Syrian civilians are unable to escape the war. Wealthy countries need to scale up their resettlement pledges and at the same time increase the support to the region so that borders are kept open,” said Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland.

    “Just because we happen to share no border with Syria, this does not free any of us from responsibility”.

    The coalition of NGOs are also calling on states that have not traditionally participated in refugee resettlement, such as countries in the Gulf and Latin America, to join other states by pledging resettlement and humanitarian admission places. Beyond this, governments can also do much more through innovative ways to help refugees from Syria in 2015, such as through making available work permits and university places, while offering them full protections in line with the 1951 Refugee Convention.

    Notes to editors

    The full brief adopted by the organisations listed below is available: Resettlement of Refugees from Syria: Increased commitments needed from international community in Geneva

    ABAAD (Liban)

    ACTED

    ACTIONAID

    ACTION CONTRE LA FAIM

    AMEL (Liban)

    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

    ASSOCIATION EUROPÉENNE POUR LA DÉFENSE DES DROITS DE L’HOMME

    CONSEIL BRITANNIQUE POUR LES RÉFUGIÉS

    CARE INTERNATIONAL

    CARITAS

    CENTRE FOR REFUGEE SOLIDARITY

    CHILDRENPLUS

    CIVIL SOCIETY IN PENETENTIARY SYSTEMS (Turquie)

    CONSEIL DANOIS POUR LES RÉFUGIÉS

    RÉSEAU EURO-MÉDITERRANÉEN DES DROITS DE L’HOMME

    CONSEIL EUROPÉEN SUR LES RÉFUGIÉS ET LES EXILÉS

    FRONTIERS RUWAD (Liban)

    HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL

    HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION (Turquie)

    THE INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE

    ISLAMIC RELIEF

    JREDS (Jordanie)

    CENTRE LIBANAIS DES DROITS HUMAINS

    LIGUE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME

    MÉDECINS DU MONDE

    MEDAIR

    MUSLIM AID

    CONSEIL NORVÉGIEN POUR LES RÉFUGIÉS

    OXFAM

    PREMIERE URGENCE- AIDE MÉDICALE INTERNATIONALE

    QATAR RED CRESCENT

    SAVE THE CHILDREN

    SAWA FOR DEVELOPMENT AND AID (Liban)

    SUPPORT TO LIFE (Turquie)

    SYRIA INGO REGIONAL FORUM

    UN PONTE PER

    Contact information

    Lebanon: Joelle Bassoul, Syria Response Media Advisor, Oxfam, jbassoul@oxfam.org.uk, +961-71525218

    Jordan: Karl Schembri, Regional Media Manager, Save the Children, karl.schembri@savethechildren.org, +962 (0) 7902 20159

    US: Oliver Money, Media Relations, International Rescue Committee, oliver.money@rescue.org, +1-646 318 7307

    UK: Sara Hashash, MENA Press Officer, Amnesty International, Sara.hashash@amnesty.org, + 44 (0) 20 7413 5511


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    Source: Association for Aid and Relief Japan, Concern Worldwide, Catholic Relief Services, ActionAid, American Refugee Committee International, Church World Service, Danish Refugee Council, Heifer International, InterAction, GOAL, Welthungerhilfe, ACTED, United Methodist News Service, Jesuit Refugee Service, UN Population Fund, Islamic Relief, UN Office of the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict, International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies, International Organization for Migration, World Health Organization, Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian Refugee Council, Tearfund, US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, CARE, MENTOR Initiative, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Terre des hommes, Caritas, Netherlands Red Cross, World Food Programme, Mercy Corps, Handicap International, UN Children's Fund, MERCY Malaysia, People in Need, Médecins du Monde, International Orthodox Christian Charities, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Relief International, Acción contra el Hambre España, Refugees International, World Hope International, Save the Children, Plan, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, World Vision, BRAC, Women's Refugee Commission, ChildFund International, ACT Alliance, Global Communities
    Country: Syrian Arab Republic

    More than 120 humanitarian organizations and United Nations agencies issued a joint appeal today urging the world to raise their voices and call for an end to the Syria crisis and to the suffering endured by millions of civilians. The appeal also outlines a series of immediate, practical steps that can improve humanitarian access and the delivery of aid to those in need inside Syria. You are invited to “sign” the appeal simply by liking, sharing, and retweeting it.

    Three years ago, the leaders of UN humanitarian agencies issued an urgent appeal to those who could end the conflict in Syria. They called for every effort to save the Syrian people. “Enough”, they said, of the suffering and bloodshed.

    That was three years ago.

    Now, the war is approaching its sixth brutal year. The bloodshed continues. The suffering deepens.

    So today, we – leaders of humanitarian organisations and UN agencies - appeal not only to governments but to each of you - citizens around the world – to add your voices in urging an end to the carnage. To urge that all parties reach agreement on a ceasefire and a path to peace.

    More than ever before, the world needs to hear a collective public voice calling for an end to this outrage. Because this conflict and its consequences touch us all.

    It touches those in Syria who have lost loved ones and livelihoods, who have been uprooted from their homes, or who live in desperation under siege. Today, some 13.5 million people inside Syria need humanitarian assistance. That is not simply a statistic. These are 13.5 million individual human beings whose lives and futures are in jeopardy.

    It touches the families who, with few options for a better future, set out on perilous journeys to foreign lands in search of refuge. The war has seen 4.6 million people flee to neighbouring countries and beyond.

    It touches a generation of children and young people who – deprived of education and traumatized by the horrors they have experienced – increasingly see their future shaped only by violence.

    It touches those far beyond Syria who have seen the violent repercussions of the crisis reach the streets, offices and restaurants closer to their homes.

    And it touches all those around the world whose economic wellbeing is affected, in ways visible and invisible, by the conflict.

    Those with the ability to stop the suffering can - and therefore should - take action now. Until there is a diplomatic solution to the fighting, such action should include:

    • Unimpeded and sustained access for humanitarian organizations to bring immediate relief to all those in need inside Syria

    • Humanitarian pauses and unconditional, monitored ceasefires to allow food and other urgent assistance to be delivered to civilians, vaccinations and other health campaigns, and for children to return to school

    • A cessation of attacks on civilian infrastructure – so that schools and hospitals and water supplies are kept safe

    • Freedom of movement for all civilians and the immediate lifting of all sieges by all parties

    These are practical actions. There is no practical reason they could not be implemented if there is the will to do so.

    In the name of our shared humanity… for the sake of the millions of innocents who have already suffered so much… and for the millions more whose lives and futures hang in the balance, we call for action now.

    Now.

    ###

    21 January 2016

    Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Chairperson, BRAC, Bangladesh
    Zairulshahfuddin bin Zainal Abidin, Country Director, Islamic Relief Malaysia
    Ryoko Akamatsu, Chairperson, Japan Committee for UNICEF
    Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International
    Richard Allen, CEO, Mentor Initiative
    Dr. Haytham Alhamwi, Director, Rethink Rebuild
    Steen M. Andersen, Executive Director, Danish Committee for UNICEF
    Barry Andrews, CEO, GOAL Ireland
    Nancy A. Aossey, President and CEO, International Medical Corp
    Bernt G. Apeland, Executive Director, Norwegian Committee for UNICEF
    Dr. Mohamed Ashmawey, CEO, Islamic Relief Worldwide
    Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, CEO, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
    Lina Sergie Attar, co-founder and CEO, Karam Foundation
    Carmelo Angulo Barturen, President, Spanish Committee for UNICEF
    Gudrun Berger, Executive Director, Austrian Committee for UNICEF
    Tomaž Bergoč, Executive Director, Slovenian Foundation for UNICEF
    David Bull, Executive Director, United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF
    Marie-Pierre Caley, CEO, ACTED
    Adriano Campolina, Chief Executive, Actionaid
    CARE Netherlands
    Tineke Ceelen, Director, Stichting Vluchteling, Netherlands
    Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization
    Jonny Cline, Executive Director, The Israeli Fund for UNICEF
    Sarah Costa, Executive Director, Women’s Refugee Commission
    Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Programme
    Emese Danks, Executive Director, UNICEF Hungarian Committee Foundation
    Maryanne Diamond, Chair, International Disability Alliance
    Hisham Dirani, CEO, BINAA Organization for Development
    Edukans, Netherlands
    Jan Egeland, Secretary-General, Norwegian Refugee Council
    Patricia Erb, President and CEO, Save the Children Canada
    Sanem Bilgin Erkurt, Executive Director, Turkish National Committee for UNICEF
    Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO, Heifer International
    Amy Fong, Chief Executive, Save the Children Hong Kong
    Justin Forsyth, CEO, Save the Children UK
    Michel Gabaudan, President, Refugees International
    Meg Gardinier, Secretary General, ChildFund Alliance
    Global Call to Action against Poverty
    Mark Goldring, Chief Executive, Oxfam Great Britain
    Pavla Gomba, Executive Director, Czech Committee for UNICEF
    Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
    Madalena Grilo, Executive Director, Portuguese Committee for UNICEF
    Noreen Gumbo, Head of Humanitarian Programmes, Trócaire
    Handicap International, Belgium
    Abdullah Hanoun, CEO, Syrian Community of the South West UK
    Heather Hayden, Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children New Zealand
    Dr. Dirk Hegmanns, Regional Director Turkey/Syria/Iraq, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe
    Anne-Marie Helland, General Secretary, Norwegian Church Aid
    Anne Hery, Director for Advocacy and Institutional Relations, Handicap International
    International Organization for Migration, Netherlands
    W. Douglas Jackson, President and CEO, PROJECT C.U.R.E.
    Wolfgang Jamann, Secretary General, Care International
    Kevin Jenkins, President and CEO, World Vision International
    Bergsteinn Jónsson, Executive Director, Icelandic National Committee for UNICEF
    Benoit Van Keirsbilck, Director, DEI-Belgique
    Thomas G. Kemper, General Secretary, General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church
    Neal Keny-Guyer, Chief Executive Officer, Mercy Corps
    Kerk in Actie, Netherlands Marja-Riitta Ketola, Executive Director, Finnish Committee for UNICEF
    Peter Klansoe, Regional Director, Danish Refugee Council, Middle East North Africa region
    Pim Kraan, Director, Save the Children Netherlands
    Marek Krupiński, Executive Director, Polish National Committee for UNICEF
    Dr. Hans Kuenzle, Chair, Swiss Committee for UNICEF
    Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF
    Jane Lau, Chief Executive, Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF
    Lavinia Limón, President and CEO, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
    Jonas Keiding Lindholm, CEO Save the Children Denmark
    Rosa G. Lizarde, Global Director, Feminist Task Force
    Olivier Longue, CEO, Accion Contra el Hambre
    John Lyon, President, World Hope International
    Sébastien Lyon, Executive Director, French Committee for UNICEF
    Dominic MacSorley, Chief Executive Officer, Concern Worldwide
    Dirk Van Maele, Director, Plan België
    Cécil Van Maelsaeke, Director, Tearfund, Belgium
    Vivien Maidaborn, Executive Director, The New Zealand National Committee for UNICEF
    Blanca Palau Mallol, President, Andorran Committee for UNICEF
    Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO, Church World Service
    Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children USA
    David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee
    Mr. Juraj Mišura, President, Slovak Committee for UNICEF
    James Mitchum, Chief Executive Officer, Heart to Heart International
    David Morley, President and CEO, Canadian UNICEF Committee
    John Nduna, General Secretary, ACT Alliance Stephen
    O’Brien, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund
    Ignacio Packer, Secretary-General, Terre des Hommes International Federation
    People in Need
    Dato Dr Ahmad Faizal Perdaus, President, Mercy Malaysia
    Plan, Norway
    Peter Power, Executive Director, UNICEF Ireland
    Sarina Prabasi, Chief Executive Officer, WaterAid America
    Chris Proulx, President and CEO, LINGOS, United States
    Dr. Jihad Qaddour, President, Syria Relief and Development
    Red Cross, Netherlands
    Curtis N. Rhodes Jr., International Director, Questscope
    Michel Roy, Secretary General, Caritas International
    Paolo Rozera, Executive Director, Italian Committee for UNICEF
    Dr. Tessie San Martin, President and CEO, Plan International USA
    Christian Schneider, Executive Director, German Committee for UNICEF
    Rev. Thomas H. Smolich, S.J. International Director, Jesuit Refugee Service
    Janti Soeripto, Interim CEO, Save the Children, International
    SOS Kinderdorpen, Netherlands
    Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO, United States Fund for UNICEF
    Marie Soueid, Policy Counsel, Center for Victims of Torture
    John Stewart, President, Australian Committee for UNICEF
    Limited Odd Swarting, Chair, Swedish Committee for UNICEF
    William L. Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration
    Florence Syevuo, Global Call to Action against Poverty, Kenya
    Daigo Takagi, Association for Aid and Relief, Japan
    Tearfund, UK
    Terre des Hommes International Federation
    Constantine M. Triantafilou, Executive Director and CEO, International Orthodox Christian Charities
    Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches
    Monique van ‘t Hek, Director, Plan Nederland
    Dr. William Vendley, Secretary General, Religions for Peace
    Pierre Verbeeren, Director, Medecins du Monde, Belgium
    Damien Vincent, Executive Director, Belgium Committee for UNICEF
    Sandra Visscher, Executive Director, Luxembourg Committee for UNICEF
    Vrouwen tegen Uitzetting, Netherlands
    Tove Wang, CEO, Save the Children Norway
    David A. Weiss, President and CEO, Global Communities
    Kathrin Wieland, CEO, Save the Children Germany
    Jan Bouke Wijbrandi, Executive Director, Dutch Committee for UNICEF
    Nancy E. Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Relief International
    Carolyn Woo, President and CEO, Catholic Relief Services
    Daniel Wordsworth, President and CEO, American Refugee Committee
    Samuel A. Worthington, CEO, InterAction
    Leila Zerrougui, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
    Mohammad Zia-ur-Rehman, Chief Executive, AwazCDS and Pakistan Development Alliance

    ###

    About UNICEF

    UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work, visit: www.unicef.org

    Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

    For more information contact: Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, nmekki@unicef.org +1 917 209 1804


    0 0

    Source: Association for Aid and Relief Japan, Concern Worldwide, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, HELP - Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V., Danish Refugee Council, Welthungerhilfe, ACTED, War Child International, Trócaire, Islamic Relief, International Alert, Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation, Tearfund, CARE, MENTOR Initiative, Caritas, Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, Women for Women International, Christian Aid, Mercy Corps, Handicap International, People in Need, Médecins du Monde, Mines Advisory Group, International Rescue Committee, Kvinna Till Kvinna, Kindernothilfe, Save the Children, World Vision
    Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic

    Background

    Five years into a conflict that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, conditions confronting civilians in Syria continue to deteriorate, particularly for children and youth. Warring parties continue to violate UN Security Council resolutions and international humanitarian law by deliberately and wantonly attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure, including homes, markets, schools and hospitals leaving a deadly legacy of Unexploded Ordnance.

    Widespread loss of documentation further challenges civilians’ freedom to move inside Syria, hindering their ability to reach safe areas, access assistance, and ultimately seek asylum. Meanwhile, as needs increase, the availability of basic protection and services such as health, education and livelihoods for the almost 4.6 million Syrians sheltering in neighbouring countries is diminishing. Access to legal stay and legal employment is limited, and poverty rates are rising to unprecedented levels. More and more refugees are exhausting their financial reserves and sinking deeper into debt, forcing them to accept exploitative work, driving impoverished parents to send their children into exploitative child labour, forcing desperate women and girls into survival sex and early marriage, and leading men, women and children to return to Syria, or try to reach Europe and third countries through informal channels, at great risk to their lives.

    As Syrian, national and international non-governmental organisations providing humanitarian assistance to those affected by the Syria crisis, we have since 2011 repeatedly stressed that only a political solution and an end to the conflict can spare Syrian civilians further violence, trauma and misery. The Vienna process launched in October 2015 may yield such an outcome, but the urgent humanitarian, protection, health, educational and livelihoods needs of Syrians cannot be put on hold while national, regional and international leaders work to overcome their differences. A whole generation risks losing its future: six million children affected by the conflict are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. More than half of children living as refugees in countries neighbouring Syria are not in school. In addition 30 per cent of refugees have specific needs with one in five affected by physical, sensory or intellectual impairment, requiring immediate and long term effort for all to access services.Moreover, present and future stability in the Syria region depends on the development community’s ability to positively engage, equip, and empower a critical generation of youth who will someday rebuild their communities/society/economy.

    To ensure the needs of Syrians living under daily conflict are met it is absolutely vital that the UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria and that the 3RP Regional Refugee & Resilience Plan 2016-2017 are fully funded throughout all sectors and for all host countries.

    We ask that the international community be bold in its ambitions and commit to providing ‘compacts’ which strive to improve protection, educational and economic opportunities for Syrians. It is against this backdrop that we collectively submit the following recommendations to national governments and other stakeholders.