Letter to the Prime Minister
Human Appeal CEO, Othman Moqbel, along with the leaders of 70 other NGOs, has signed this letter to the Prime Minister:
Dear Prime Minister,
In recent months a refugee crisis of historic proportions has unfolded in Europe – a result of desperate people fleeing countries ravaged by conflict, in pursuit of safety. The tragic death of Aylan Kurdi, drowned with his family at sea and washed ashore in Turkey, has made millions of people across Europe demand that more is done to help those in need.
As international development organisations, many of us are working in the countries from which these people are displaced and have witnessed the daily horrors they are seeking to escape. We are also in many cases providing coordinated relief within Europe’s borders for refugees who have made the perilous journey to our continent.
We recognise and congratulate the generosity of the UK government in supporting the humanitarian response in the Syria region, as the second biggest funder of the refugee response and relief efforts in the area. We also commend the UK government's contribution to vital search and rescue missions. However, for a fair and long-term solution to the problem we urge you to take the following steps:
Commit that the UK will take in its fair share of refugees – the decision to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years is a first step, but it is vital that these people are welcomed as soon as possible, and that the number be revised upwards in line with the scale of the humanitarian tragedy in and around Syria. The UK must also be prepared to take in its fair share of refugees who are arriving in Europe given the huge responsibility now on the shoulders of our European neighbours, including by taking in 3000 children who travelled to the EU alone, as well as families in desperate need. Contribute to and support an EU-wide strategy to address the crisis when European ministers meet on 14th September. A comprehensive EU plan would need to include:
- Continued search and rescue efforts, improved safe and legal routes into Europe, and significantly improved reception and processing facilities
- Shared responsibility for resettlement and relocation and a better coordinated asylum system across the EU - Increased support to the regions most affected by the refugee crises
- Redoubled diplomatic efforts for a long-term political solution to the crisis
Continue to direct UK aid to alleviate suffering and promote long-term development in the fragile and conflict-affected states refugees are fleeing – avoiding any long-term diversion of aid to domestic refugee and resettlement programmes.
We, the undersigned, believe these measures will relieve suffering in the immediate term, and help create a lasting solution to the current crisis.