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CARE calls for a peaceful political resolution to the conflict
Amman (30 August 2013): The looming threat of a potential international military strike in Syria has caused a sudden and increasing number of Syrian refugees fleeing to neighbouring countries, stretching already limited aid resources and worsening the humanitarian situation in the region. CARE is concerned that any further escalation of violence would deepen the current humanitarian crisis in Syria and in the region, and it could have serious consequences on innocent lives.
“We are already seeing a new wave of people fleeing. There have been reports of more than 15,000 Syrian refugees gathering at the Lebanese border Wednesday alone as more desperate people flee Damascus. Communities in neighbouring countries are also afraid of what might happen next. We’ve heard of large number of Jordanians who have also been moving away from the border area, for example,” says Gareth Richards, Regional Director, CARE International Middle East and North Africa Region.
“It is now more urgent than ever that political differences are set aside and a peaceful political resolution is reached through dialogue. The population of Syria is already extremely vulnerable due to the impact of the prolonged conflict, and CARE is concerned at their ability to cope with any additional hardship,” says Richards.
U.N. officials say that more than 44,000 refugees have poured into the Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq since August 15, when officials opened access to a footbridge from Syria. The surge is described as one of the biggest waves of refugees since the start of the conflict in 2011.
Projections also indicate that Jordan could be hosting approximately 150,000 additional Syrian refugees in the next month as UN and aid agencies like CARE prepare to scale up their response.
“CARE is ready to scale up our response to help the sudden influx of refugees into neighbouring countries. We are already providing life-saving services in the form of much needed emergency cash and support to more than 150,000 refugees living in urban areas of Jordan. We’re working with UN and other aid agencies to open a new refugee camp in Azraq, where many of the new refugees are likely to go for emergency support. But the sudden increase in refugees will put a huge strain on the region. The global response to the Syria crisis is tragically underfunded, and will need additional resources urgently in order to meet the needs of the new refugees and people affected within Syria,” says Richards.
Note: CARE is working with host country governments, the United Nations, and international and local organizations to help refugees and host communities in the region meet their most urgent needs.
About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty and providing lifesaving assistance in emergencies. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to help lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. CARE has been working in Jordan since 1948. CARE Jordan has extensive experience working with refugees, providing livelihood training and opportunities, emergency cash assistance, information sharing and psychosocial support to Iraqi refugees since 2003.