Responding to the US airstrike in Syria last night, Christian Aid’s Programme Officer for Syria, Máiréad Collins, said:
“It is paramount that the UK and other governments push for an immediate cessation of violence by all parties to the conflict and for world leaders to prioritise the establishment of a peaceful settlement in Syria that serves all of its citizens equally.
“As long as the violence continues, necessary humanitarian interventions inside Syria continue to be slowed or stopped entirely.
“Any further military action, such as the US strike last night, will likely only add to civilian suffering and deepen insecurity. This is underlined by the reported fresh bombing today of Khan Sheikhoun, the town which suffered the sarin gas attack this week.
“The depravity unleashed by the Syrian war throws into sharp relief the deep malaise that has gripped the international community. As world leaders line up to apportion blame, the reality is that Syria represents a collective political failure.
“Christian Aid welcomes the recent UK government pledge of £1bn in aid for education, jobs and stability for Syrian refugees and their host communities, while noting that there must be further progress made to ensure that these objectives can actually be met in both Lebanon and Jordan. The UK Government must continue to work with host governments to provide an environment in which access to jobs, education and stability is possible.”
Notes to Editors:
1. In September Christian Aid announced that 3,500 churches had ditched fossil fuels and signed up for renewable electricity. Many of these have come through the Big Church Switch scheme supported by the Church of England. For more information visit www.bigchurchswitch.org.uk.
2. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
3. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change (http://www.christianaid.org.uk/images/partnership-for-change-summary.pdf) explains how we set about this task.
4. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
5. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire
6. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk