17.01.2014 / For immediate release
Geneva Peace Talks should call for humanitarian corridors says leading charity in Syria
Negotiators at Geneva Two should establish safe zones alongside a temporary ceasefire.
A leading UK charity is warning the Syrian people face another ten years of crisis whatever the outcome of the Geneva Two peace talks due to begin next week.
Human Appeal, one of the main charities operating in Syria, says negotiators in Geneva should push for safe-havens to be set up alongside any ceasefire they implement - even if it is temporary.
The charity says the talks should be used as an opportunity to establish safe zones – also known as peace corridors to help get vital aid to the thousands of ordinary Syrians who are suffering in displacement camps or stranded in towns and villages.
"These safe zones are not only needed to provide people with food, water and medical aid but for aid workers to carry out situation assessments," says Arwa Ibrahim of Human Appeal.
"There are now thousands of women and children who are being denied even the most basic of care because of this conflict. If the factions which are fighting each other are prepared to observe any form of ceasefire during the talks they should also allow aid corridors to be established."
According to Human Appeal, in the Yarmouk Camp – which is a a few miles from the heart of Damascus, and home to the biggest Palestinian refugee camp in Syria – people are now almost completely cut off. "These people are being refused access to food and medical aid due to complicated dynamics on the battlefield," says Ibrahim.
"We are pleased the peace talks are taking place, but they need to deal with the reality on the ground. There is an immense amount of suffering right across Syria and there is no time for complacency. The Geneva Two talks will amount to nothing if the international community doesn't build upon a ceasefire and convince the warring factions to maintain a truce.
"The more that is done to get aid to the ordinary people of Syria now, the more chance they will all have to reestablish their lives when the fighting does finally end," she says.
The Geneva Two peace talks will take place between January 22 - 24 2014 in Montreux, Switzerland.
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