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International Community ‘Must Act Quickly’ To Deliver Life-Saving Assistance To Syrians

“The world already knows that [Syria's] Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons, indiscriminate bombing, arbitrary detentions, rape, and torture against his own citizens,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry writes in a Foreign Policy opinion piece. “What is far less well known, and equally intolerable, is the systematic denial of medical assistance, food supplies, and other humanitarian aid to huge portions of the population,” he adds, noting, “Reports of severe malnutrition across vast swaths of Syria suffering under regime blockades prompted the United Nations Security Council to issue a presidential statement calling for immediate access to humanitarian assistance.” He states, “To bolster the U.N.’s position, every nation needs to demand action on the ground — right now.”

“Simply put, the world must act quickly and decisively to get life-saving assistance to the innocent civilians who are bearing the brunt of the civil war,” Kerry continues, adding, “To do anything less risks a ‘lost generation’ of Syrian children traumatized, orphaned, and starved by this barbaric war.” He notes a “U.N. statement [issued] earlier this month calls on all parties to respect obligations under international humanitarian law,” and he writes, “Convoys carrying aid need to be expedited. Efforts to provide medical care to the wounded and the sick must be granted safe passage. And attacks against medical facilities and personnel must stop.” Kerry concludes, “With winter approaching quickly, and the rolls of the starving and sick growing daily, we can waste no time. Aid workers must have full access to do their jobs now. The world cannot sit by watching innocents die” (10/25).