Alan Duncan: Statement on Syria

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan makes a statement on Syria following the Syria Humanitarian Forum in Geneva today

Following the Syria Humanitarian Forum in Geneva today, International Development Minister Alan Duncan warned that donors must be ready to respond to humanitarian needs on a longer term basis and called on the international community to maintain momentum in delivering aid throughout Syria.

“The world stepped up at the pledging conference in Kuwait at the end of January. Promises of over $1.5bn in aid showed the Syrian people that the world stands alongside them in their time of need,” said Mr Duncan. “It’s a staggering sum and desperately needed, but it is only enough to support the UN’s life-saving work until the end of June. We cannot afford to rest on our laurels.

“Over 70,000 people have been killed since the conflict began, with hundreds of thousands more injured. The international community must also be alive to the nature of the damage and destruction to infrastructure, homes, industry and livelihoods and the huge demands the flight of refugees is placing on Syria’s neighbours. This is creating long-term problems and we will need to be ready to respond accordingly for some time to come.

“Donors must now make good on the promises they made at Kuwait and those who haven’t yet pledged must step up. We must also look at ways to ensure that everyone gets the help they need regardless of where they are in Syria and all parties must give humanitarian agencies the access they need to save more lives. Today’s forum was a step in the right direction, but we must not allow this momentum to slip.”