ALERT – Brussels Donor Conference on Syria: The suffering of civilians is unbearable

Posted by: on Apr 23, 2018 | No Comments

HI will attend the Donor Conference “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” that will take place in Brussels on April 24-25th.

HI will encourage donors to increase their support to humanitarian aid that is very much needed by the population. After 7 years of a devastating conflict, the needs are staggering. You can read below a series of 6 issue briefs enclosing HI’s recommendations towards the international community.

Syria remains an acute humanitarian situation.

In the first quarter of 2018, the conflict reached unprecedented levels of violence with for example, the offensive on La Ghouta that killed more than 1000 civilians last February.

With an estimated total of 13.1 million Syrians in need of urgent humanitarian assistance and 5.5 million refugees, responding to the emergency still remains an absolute priority today. Still remains an absolute priority today.

Maintaining and increasing the continuity of services and humanitarian access – such as distribution of hygiene kits, food aid, non-food items, shelter, water and sanitation services, provision of health care services, education and protection in emergencies, is a top priority. The ability of humanitarian workers to safely and securely perform their duties by responding to needs without the fear of being harassed, arrested, or targeted, is also a crucial aspect of humanitarian access.

Syria is not safe for returns

Syrians have been displaced within and beyond Syria’s borders multiple times and are deprived from job, social relations, basic services, etc. Considering the prevalence of war-related and other injuries and disabilities requiring care, the provision of Physical Rehabilitation services for persons with injuries and disabilities is insufficient.

In a context marked by very intense bombings and shelling in populated areas, as well as other explosive hazards, HI is alarmed at the level of contamination in Syria that will prevent the population to come back home in vast parts of the territory once the conflict or battles have ended. At the moment, it is not safe for refugees or Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to return to areas with high levels of contamination.

Preparing for the Syrian response tomorrow

Supporting the response to immediate needs should not stop donors from preparing for the future. Humanitarian actors need to plan not only for the immediate response, but also for mid-to-long term response.

Hi is engaged in activities such as humanitarian mine action (Risk Education, mine clearance or Victim Assistance), physical rehabilitation, prosthetics and orthotics, psychosocial support, is not only a matter of emergency, it is also crucial for the future lives of our beneficiaries and the Syrian population as a whole.

In Syria, but also other conflict settings, HI is calling to donors and humanitarian actors to prepare a comprehensive response to the use of explosive weapons in populated areas (link to the petition) and other explosive hazards on civilian populations.

“Bombed. Lives to be rebuild”

HI organizes the exhibition “Bombed. Lives to be rebuilt” ( on the European Parliament esplanade in Brussels during the week of April 23rd. This exhibition, funded by ECHO, features pictures from Philippe de Poulpiquet as well as testimonies of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. It aims at raising the attention of high level representatives from States, EU institutions, UN and NGOs, to the plight of Syrian civilians, who bear the brunt of the war, have been displaced within and beyond Syria’s borders multiple times, escaping bombing and shelling in populated areas, facing socio-economic deprivation and other grave humanitarian and safety concerns.


Cover : Responding to the humanitarian needs of today – preparing for the Syrian response tomorrow
Humanitarian Access, Continuity of Services and Protection of Humanitarian Workers
Physical Rehabilitation Needs and Services for Persons with Injuries and Disabilities
Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas (EWIPA), Contamination and Mine Action
Health Care and Health Needs – Physical Rehabilitation, Psychosocial Support and Mental Health
Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the Syrian Humanitarian Response