The Syrian Crisis: Humanitarian access, funding, and protection of civilians

28 November 2013

Since March 2011, the international community has powerlessly witnessed the gradual deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria and the neighboring affected countries. The main challenges (as were also included in the 2 October Security Council Presidential Statement and the consequent 4 November framework for implementation) are:

1) Humanitarian Access

  • Increasing the number of humanitarian actors in Syria able to provide emergency relief in areas controlled by the Government as well as the opposition entities.
  • Providing life-saving assistance to the 9.3 million people in need in and around Syria, out of which 6.5 million are internally displaced and 2.9 million are refugees in the neighboring countries.

2) Protection of Civilians

  • Opening a dialogue and effective negotiation with all parties to the conflict to guarantee respect of international humanitarian law and consequent obligations to protect civilians.
  • Preventing the risk of having a "Lost Generation" - as of November 2013, around 1.4 million refugees and more than 50% of the civilians affected by the conflict are children under the age of 18.

3) Humanitarian Funding

  • Having a strong international commitment to guarantee unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians and refugees affected by the conflict, as well as to increase the support to the resilience capacity in host countries and communities.


About the author

Lucio is a Humanitarian Affairs Specialist with UNICEF and a board member of PHAP. He is the former Director General of INTERSOS Humanitarian Aid Organization and has been working for the last 20 years in the main humanitarian complex emergencies, from the Balkan wars and the Rwanda Genocide to more recent crises in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now Syria, working for the Red Cross Movement, NGOs, Government institutions (Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the UN humanitarian agencies.


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