We are increasingly concerned by the escalating humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib, Syria, and the inadequate international action to end the suffering. Since 1 December more than 600,000 of Idlib’s 3 million residents have been displaced, and hundreds have been killed; the victims are disproportionately women and children, the campaigners said in a letter published by The Guardian.
Civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals and schools, has been repeatedly hit and destroyed. Spiralling prices and insufficient aid have left people desperate for food, clean water, shelter, medical care and other essential items, with crowds massing on the Turkish border where there is nothing in place to support them, they said.
Despite the immense suffering, the crisis is not being treated with the urgency it demands, and with frontlines approaching the densely populated Idlib city, the humanitarian crisis will deteriorate further if action is not taken, they added.
A failure to act will result in more civilians dying. The UK government and other world leaders should take steps to condemn the violence, call for an immediate and lasting ceasefire, and for those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law to be held accountable.
The letter was signed by the following campaigners and MPs:
Othman Moqbel Chief executive, Syria Relief
Tufail Hussain Director, Islamic Relief UK
Christine Allen Director, Cafod
Simon O’Connell Executive director, Mercy Corps
Tim Pilkington CEO, World Vision
Laura Kyrke-Smith UK executive director, The International Rescue Committee
Patrick Watt Director of policy, public affairs and campaigns, Christian Aid
Alison McGovern MP Labour; co-chair of Syria all-party parliamentary group
Andrew Gwynne MP Labour
Debbie Abrahams MP Labour
Caroline Lucas MP Green
Pauline Latham MP Conservative
Hannah Bardell MP SNP
Andrew Mitchell MP Conservative
Tonia Antoniazzi MP Labour
Zarah Sultana MP Labour
Robert Largan MP Conservative
Rt Rev Nicholas Baines Bishop of Leeds
Based on the Guardian