It has been ten years since the Syrian civil war started, and the start of the war also ignited the beginning of the world’s largest refugee crisis. World Vision reports that approximately 13.5 million Syrians have been displaced as a result of the civil war, with one half being refugees and asylum seekers, and the other half being internally displaced people. Ongoing conflict, violence, and poverty all contribute to the ongoing refugee crisis, and there is exponential work to be done to effectively end the crisis.
The official UNHCR website informs the public of their ongoing support for Syrian refugees through various methods, such as on-the-ground work to provide food, shelter, and medical care to those who are in need of assistance. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has only further affected the poor medical situation amongst the refugees. However, the UN Refugee Agency is continuing to maintain and increase its efforts in providing medical assistance to the refugees.
The UN’s and other organization’s efforts to alleviate the crisis should be sustained and, most importantly, supported by countries that have the available resources. There are many contributing factors to the crisis, but two important factors to mention are poverty and the violent conflict in Syria.
According to World Vision, more than 80% of Syrians live in extreme poverty. Poverty contributes to the lack of access to necessities such as food, water, and shelter, affecting thousands of individuals and families. The UN’s efforts to provide these necessities must continue as many affected people depend on their support. There is no ‘cure’ to poverty, however, private and public sectors are very well capable of supporting this important work. This can range from starting foundations to raising funds and awareness of the refugee crisis to contribute to additional resources or start campaigns to simply raise awareness of the economic situation in Syria.
Another major factor in the refugee crisis is the ongoing violent conflict in Syria. As mentioned before, it has been ten years since the start of the Syrian civil war in March 2011. From March 2021 BBC reports, clashes between citizens and the Assad regime, coincided with the threat of terrorism, provided a platform for escalating political violence. The Syrian conflict is very well known to different countries and over the years, there have been talks of ending the conflict. Yet, the BBC reports that as of early 2021, there are still no drafted political reforms to forward a peaceful agreement.
This conflict started and continues to cause the worsening of the Syrian refugee crisis. It is necessary for the Assad regime to acknowledge their shortcomings and use of unwarranted violence against the people. It is also necessary for other countries to make peaceful reforms and transitions happen, which are needed to come to a solution. Lately, with the lack of reformatory action, countries have been idle in stopping the conflict. This lack of action needs to be addressed.
Millions of people have been displaced and lost their homes, and millions more will if the poverty and conflict in Syria continue. The work of the UN Refugee Agency and other organizations such as World Vision should be followed to alleviate some of the sufferings of those affected. Finally, it is important for poverty and conflict to be addressed and action must be taken by those in power to put an end to the crisis.