Desmond Tutu today issued an impassioned plea to the international community to take action on behalf of Syria. From the Elders Blog:
The massacre in Syria rages on and yet we stand idle. We must realise that, to millions of Syrians trapped in the country, the virtual absence of humanitarian relief is nearly as arbitrary and cruel as the war itself.
Bombs, even ballistic missiles are tearing homes apart and more than 70,000 people have been killed. Weapons, not blankets, are pouring into the country. The BBC asks a child if he misses playing with his friends and he replies, “they are all dead.” God is weeping.
Where are the shelters and the food? More than a million Syrians are leaving the country and their lives behind. Half of them are children.
Across the border, the refugee camps, where help exists, are swelling in size and struggling to cope. Families are opening up their homes to those fleeing the conflict, in wonderful acts of kindness – but this is a huge burden to them. We cannot, and should not, rely on such generosity.
Help must be made available inside the country to all who need it. It is shameful that the few brave organisations who can provide relief must often do so in hiding, or, if not, are severely impeded anyway.
Read full post here. Anglicans around the world are being asked to sign a petition asking Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa to urge Syria’s leadership to allow humanitarian aid to reach civilians. Anglican Communion News Service reports:
Four million people trapped in Syria need humanitarian aid, more than 2 million of them children. Schools and hospitals have been destroyed. According to Mandeep Tiwana, Policy and Advocacy Manager of CIVICUS (World Alliance for Citizen Participation, South Africa) who initiated the petition, children as young as eight have been used as human shields, and one in every three Syrian children has been injured.
Mr Tiwana said: “Syrians need food and medicine, but the UN says it needs permission from the Syrian regime to deliver aid across borders into rebel controlled areas. Assad refuses to consent to such access. The BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa – are the only powerful governments left able to compel him to do so.
Read ACNS story here.