72% of the UK Are Not Aware of the Idlib Crisis

Syria Relief have released results of two YouGov polls that they commissioned that reveals that only 22% of the UK say they are aware of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Idlib and only 30% knew Idlib was in Syria.

The Idlib campaign in North West Syria has been ongoing since April 30th 2019, but has escalated considerably over the past two months, with 800,000 people being displaced since December 1st and hundreds killed. The victims of the conflict are disproportionately women and children.

Syria Relief, who provide education, healthcare, food, clean water, shelter and essential items to millions of people in Idlib and across Northern Syria have had 6 of their schools and 3 of their healthcare centres hit, as civilian infrastructure are being regularly targeted in the campaign.

Charles Lawley, Syria Relief’s Head of Advocacy, says:

“Idlib is fast becoming the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War and the tragedy is compounded by the fact that the world has turned it’s back. This is a humanitarian catastrophe. Civilians are being targeted and murdered and we’ve seemingly stopped caring. Only 22% of the UK is aware that is happening and only 30% of the UK knows where Idlib is.

“Is this because we have just accepted that Syria is a place where humans suffer? Is it because if we were to ask ourselves what is going on we would be faced with the harsh reality of the crisis engulfing the 3 million people in Idlib? Is it because, after 9 years of fighting, the UK has become bored of the misery forced upon the Syrian people?

“On New Year’s Day, we had the sixth of our school’s hit in a space of six months. A cluster bomb landed on a school at 11.45am. 12 people were killed, 5 of them children. Two of the victims were just six-years-old – born 3 years after the war had started and killed before it had ended. They knew of no life outside of this conflict and this conflict then took their life. In December, a hospital we used to operate was completely destroyed. We wouldn’t accept 6-year-olds being murdered in the UK, we wouldn’t accept British hospitals being completely destroyed, so why is it OK for it to happen in Syria?

“Military actors in this conflict can kill civilians with impunity, because we are ignoring it. Because we aren’t paying attention. Because we don’t care. If we, as a nation, educated ourselves about what is going on in Idlib and, dare I say it, got a little angry, pressure would mount internationally for there to be greater protection of civilian life.

“If, or when, the conflict approaches the densely populated Idlib city, the scale of the human suffering will spiral out of control. The people in Idlib need food, shelter and essential items. But, more than anything, they need you stop ignoring them and start caring about their plight.”