Syria Relief Pleads For Immediate U-Turn On UK Aid Budget Cut To Syria

Syria Relief plead for immediate U-turn on “devastating” and “callous” 67% UK aid budget cut to Syria.

Syria Relief have called for the UK government to make an immediate U-turn on the reported plans to cut the aid budget to war-torn Syria by 67%, as reported in The Times. Syria Relief are instead calling on the aid budget for Syria to be ring-fenced due to the increasing humanitarian needs as the continuing conflict marks its 10th anniversary this month.

It has called the decision more “little England” than “Global Britain.”

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

“This is exactly the wrong decision for the UK government to make and the impacts could be devastating. The UK government is currently the third biggest aid donor to war-torn Syria and, when 80% of the country lives in poverty, most Syrians are dependent on humanitarian aid to survive. To balance the books on the backs of some of the most vulnerable people in the world will be seen as callous.

“Over 12.4 million people are suffering from food insecurity and a further 1.8 million are at risk of falling into food insecurity. 12.2 million Syrians lack regular access to a clean water supply. With 2.4 million Syrian children out of school, this conflict has created a lost generation. Syria Relief have recently found that 99% of IDPs in Northwest Syria and 76% and 74% of Syrian refugees in Turkey and Lebanon respectively have symptoms compatible with PTSD, yet access to mental health support is low. Instead of cutting aid by 67%, the government should be ring-fencing Syria’s aid budget to ensuring the increasing humanitarian needs do not go unmet and it should be exploring how it can invest in new aid projects to meet the growing humanitarian needs resulting from this protracted war. This decade of war has caused a humanitarian catastrophe and the actions of the UK government risk only making it worse.

“We’re calling on the public to write to their MP and ask them to oppose this decision. A poll we commissioned with YouGov found that 58% of the UK were unaware that the Syrian conflict was still ongoing, it is the widespread apathy to the conflict which will allow the government to conduct this awful course of action. We need to immediately create the political will to stop this.

“The government talks of wanting to be a post-Brexit “Global Britain”, but this is the actions of Little England.”