Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
With Syria high on the G20’s agenda in St Petersburg this week, Christian Aid is urging that member states work towards a political resolution to the conflict.
Janet Symes, Head of Middle East at Christian Aid, said: ‘We already have a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions, which is having strong and lasting effects on neighbouring countries.
‘Syrian civilians are paying a terrible price for the collective failure to support a political solution to the conflict.
‘We fear that Western military involvement will only intensify the humanitarian crisis. By far the best way forward now is to find a political solution to the conflict itself.
‘The G20 must use this important opportunity to bring all parties to the conflict, and others with influence over them, to commit to ending the violence through a meaningful and inclusive political process.’
Earlier this week, the UN stated that more than two million refugees have now fled Syria, with the total having doubled in the last six months.
Traditionally the G20 addresses challenges to the global economy but this year it is expected that member states will use their meeting to discuss Syria.
Ms Symes added: ‘Following the decision not to participate in a military response, the UK must now redouble its diplomatic and humanitarian efforts, beginning in St Petersburg.
'We hope that David Cameron uses his influence to focus G20 leaders’ attention on millions of people’s urgent needs for humanitarian aid and a political solution to the conflict.’
Christian Aid believes that it is vital for Syrian voices to be heard as part of any international negotiations, including those of civil society, faith leaders and representatives of refugees and internally-displaced people.
Christian Aid, working with our sister agencies in the ACT Alliance, is providing emergency support to people who have been forced to leave their homes in Syria, and those who have fled to neighbouring Lebanon and Iraq.