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August 17, 2022



ROMEA joins declaration of solidarity with Syrian civilians

Prague, 1.3.2013 23:25, (ROMEA)
Syria after the bombing (collage).  Source:  Syrie Libre 2012 - Facebook
Syria after the bombing (collage). Source: Syrie Libre 2012 - Facebook

The ROMEA association has joined an initiative expressing solidarity with civilians in Syria afflicted by the armed conflict that has been ongoing there for some time. Through its declarations (an open letter and a petition) the initiative is calling on Czech politicians, the European Union and the United Nations to open cross-border corridors for humanitarian aid, mainly from Turkey. Today aid is primarily not reaching the people living in northern Syria on territory in the hands of the opposition. Below please find the full translation of the declaration:

Declaration from the Czech public of solidarity with the suffering civilians of Syria and a call for the accelerated opening of all corridors for humanitarian aid.

On 15 March 2013 it will have been two years since the suppression of the first anti-government demonstration in Syria. Ever since, we have been informed daily of the growing numbers of dead on both sides of the conflict.

We cannot just watch the increasing numbers of dead and refugees. We cannot remain indifferent.

We hereby express the interest and the solidarity of the Czech public with the civilians suffering in Syria. We also feel for the Syrians living here in the Czech Republic who are anxious about the situations of their families inside Syria. Lastly, we call for the opening of all corridors for humanitarian aid, in particular cross-border corridors that will facilitate the delivery of aid to all who need it.

The crisis in Syria is achieving horrifying dimensions. More than four million people there need humanitarian aid.

At least half of those people are refugees in their own country. The prices of flour and fuel are rising.

More and more people no longer have money to buy even basic food staples. The fighting is destroying their homes and people are forced to sleep inside mosques, in schools, and on the streets.

Medical care is completely insufficient. The emergency is escalating dramatically.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that in addition to the officially registered 800 000 refugees, another 200 000 Syrians have left the country and are living in neighboring states as unregistered refugees. There is very little information available about their fates. The number of refugees is rising daily.

Solutions on the part of the international community are being blocked at the UN Security Council. However, what can still be essentially changed is the system for delivering humanitarian aid so that it reaches all who need it.

The main part of Syria in the north of the country is no longer under government control and fighting for other territories is ongoing. The vast majority of institutional aid (from the European Commission, the member states, the UN, etc.) is distributed on territories under government control or to the refugees living outside their homeland.

While the UN is now working hard to try and deliver aid from Damascus to the north, including to territory controlled by the opposition, this approach cannot meet all the needs of the inhabitants of northern Syria for practical and security reasons. The only solution is to open cross-border corridors from Turkey.

At a donors' conference in Kuwait on 30 January 2013, enough funding was promised for humanitarian aid. Nevertheless, it is not clear how that aid will reach those who need it.

We are therefore calling on the UN to take advantage of all options for creating new cross-border humanitarian corridors, to start coordinating aid for the needy inhabitants, and to distribute it equitably throughout the entire territory. We call on Czech and European politicians, as well as on representatives of UN agencies, to change the system for delivering humanitarian aid so as to meet the needs of all suffering civilians, i.e., not just those living on territory under Syrian government control.

We, the undersigned, express our solidarity with the suffering Syrian civilians and hope they will soon receive the aid they need. We hope they will be able to live their lives in peace according to their own notions. Y

ou can sign the declaration here:

Addressed to: The United Nations, the European Union, the President of the Czech Republic, the Government of the Czech Republic, the Czech Foreign Minister, the chair of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, the chair of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.

Authors of this letter: Věra Roubalová Kostlánová, psychotherapist, member of the InBáze Berkat association, member of the Rafael Institute, Prague František Kostlán, columnist, board member of the Czech Helsinki Committee, member of ROMEA o.s., Prague

Initial signatories (organizations): Czech Helsinki Committee (Český helsinský výbor) Amnesty International Czech Republic ROMEA o. s. The Consortium of NGOs Working with Migrants in the Czech Republic, which brings together the following organizations: Center for the Integration of Foreigners (Centrum pro integraci cizinců), People in Need (Člověk v tísni), European Contact Group (Evropská kontaktní skupina), InBáze Berkat, META, Association for Young Migrant Opportunities (Sdružení pro příležitosti mladých migrantů), Bridge for Human Rights (Most pro lidská práva), Multicultural Center Prague (Multikulturní centrum Praha), Organization for Aid to Refugees (Organizace pro pomoc uprchlíkům), Counseling Center for Citizenship, Civil and Human Rights (Poradna pro občanství, občanská a lidská práva), Counseling Center for Integration (Poradna pro integraci), Association of Citizens Involved with Emigrants (Sdružení občanů zabývajících se emigranty), Association for Integration and Migration (Sdružení pro integraci a migraci)

Initial signatories, individuals: Dana Němcová, psychologist, Prague; Táňa Fischerová, politician, actress, Prague; Anna Šabatová, chair, Czech Helsinki Committee, Prague; Senator Eliška Wagnerová, Brno; Bishop Václav Malý, Prague; Antonín Kostlán, historian, Prague; Petr Sláma, evangelical theologian, Stará Boleslav; Lucie Slámová, teacher, Stará Boleslav; Dagmar Křížková, psychiatrist, Miličín; Elena Strupková, actress, Miličín; Mark Martin, director, Amnesty International Czech Republic, Prague; Tomáš Halík, professor, Charlies University, Prague; Olga Sommerová, documentary filmmaker, Prague; Ondřej Liška, chair, Czech Green Party, Prague; Kumar Vishwanathan, chair, Life Together association (Vzájemné soužití), Ostrava; Fedor Gál, sociologist, Prague; Jan Ruml, publicist, Prague; Jarmila Balážová, chair, ROMEA association, Prague; Zděněk Ryšavý, director, ROMEA association, Prague; Selma Muhic Dizdarevic, member of the board, Czech Helsinki Committee, Prague; David Salač, member of the board, Czech Helsinki Committee, Prague; Petruška Šustrová, journalist, translator, Prague; Mikuláš Kroupa, POST BELLUM, Prague; Karel Navrátil, chair, Muses to the Children association (Múzy dětem), Prague; Ludmila Forbelská, violinist, Prague

ROMEA, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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