29-02-2016 | Latest News , Middle East

ICRC calls for concerted effort to end Syria's devastating war

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On the eve of a possible cessation of hostilities in Syria the International Committee of the Red Cross is appealing to all those with influence to work to end the conflict.

Five years of war have left Syrian cities in ruins. Nothing has been untouched, not even the hospitals. 60% are closed, or only barely functioning. Throughout the conflict, the ICRC has been supporting civilians, but the needs constantly outstrip the ability of humanitarian agencies to meet them. This week ICRC President Peter Maurer visited Homs, where tens of thousands of people are struggling to survive.

“Most of the destruction has taken place in densely populated areas in cities, and in those areas we see the most of the suffering as well,” said Mr Maurer. “Now we see that the biggest needs are really where those displaced congregate in provisional shelters, in destroyed houses. I see that the needs are enormous, and the numbers are enormous of those affected.”

This war has spared no one, not even the very youngest. The sick or wounded cannot rely on getting medical care. Parents are forced to bring their children up in appalling conditions, where the most basic life necessities, water, food, and heat, are always in short supply. No wonder everyone here is pinning their hopes on a possible ceasefire.

“Well we certainly hope that a ceasefire and a reduction of the war will allow us to do more,” said Mr Maurer. “But we can’t count on it and we have to be prepared for all eventualities, even if the fighting is not stopping in the next couple of weeks.

These children are Syria’s future. Whether the fighting stops now or not, the ICRC will do everything in its power to help them. But children deserve a real childhood, and they can’t have that, if the war goes on.

Shotlist

0:00 – 0:26 Destruction Syria, various
0:26 – 0:30 Ruined hospital with operating theatre light still visible
0:30 – 0:36 Interior hospital operating theatre dark
0:36 – 0:44 ICRC convoy driving through Homs
0:44 – 0:53 Peter Maurer visiting IDP shelter Al Waer,
0:53 – 1:06 IDP’s showing conditions

1:06 – 1:33 Soundbite ICRC President Peter Maurer:
“Most of the destruction has taken place in densely populated areas in cities, and in those areas we see the most of the suffering as well. Now we see that the biggest needs are really where those displaced congregate in provisional shelters, in destroyed houses. I see that the needs are enormous, and the numbers are enormous of those affected.”

1:33 – 1:45 Mr Maurer with newborn baby in incubator
1:45 – 1:52 Hospital staff show medical supplies
1:52 – 2:10 Mr Maurer talking with IDPs various

2:10 – 2:29 Soundbite ICRC President Peter Maurer:
“Well we certainly hope that a ceasefire and a reduction of the war will allow us to do more. But we can’t count on it and we have to be prepared for all eventualities, even if the fighting is not stopping in the next couple of weeks.”

2:29 – 2:36 Children playing in IDP centre
2:36 – 2:41 Close up little boy and girl
2:41 – 2:45 Abandoned shoes in rubble

Duration : 2m 46s
Size : 190.2 MB

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