Amnesty International will take part in an event in Parliament tomorrow to discuss what measures can be undertaken to lift sieges in Syria that are contributing to the country’s severe humanitarian crisis.
The event comes after the UN’s humanitarian chief Baroness Amos recently announced that there has been no discernible progress over ensuring that aid deliveries reach people in Syria, despite a UN resolution calling for this over a month ago.
Some 3.5 million people in Syria are now estimated to be in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in hard-to-reach areas, an increase of one million since the beginning of this year, and of these some 220,000 are trapped in besieged areas.
A panel will discuss what can be done to ensure that both Syrian government and opposition force sieges on desperate civilians are lifted as soon as possible. Tomorrow’s panel will comprise:
Kristyan Benedict, Amnesty International UK campaign manager
Tom Pravda, Deputy Head, Near East Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Toni Frangie, Deputy Head of Mission, Lebanese Embassy to the UK
Reem Al-Assil, Syrian Non Violence Movement
Chair: Mark Durkan MP
The event is being held in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association room, House of Commons, Westminster SW1, at 4.00-5.00pm (Tuesday 1 April).
Earlier this month, Amnesty published a report on the devastating nine-month siege of the Yarmouk district in Damascus, where an estimated 20,000 people are currently trapped by Syrian government forces. The report described “rampant malnutrition” in Yarmouk, with desperate residents scavenging for edible weeds, and eating cats and dogs to survive.
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