Joint statement by
Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs
Zainab Hawa Bangura, Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict
Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization
Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Programme
Antonio Guterres, High Commissioner for Refugees
Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General, UNRWA
Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF
Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

New York, Geneva, Rome, Amman – The appalling crisis in Syria is entering a fifth year. A crisis that continues to exact an unconscionable human cost. A crisis that the international community has failed to stop.

More than 200,000 people have been killed. Children and young people are subject to and surrounded by violence, despair and deprivation. Women and girls, and men and boys in detention, are at particular risk of sexual violence. More than 12.2 million people in Syria need life-saving aid and 3.9 million refugees have fled across borders seeking safety and security.

We have expressed our horror, our outrage, our frustration as we have watched the tragedy unfold. As humanitarian leaders we are committed to continuing to do our best to help all those caught in the middle of this war. People who are vulnerable. Besieged. With nowhere to go.

We need world leaders to put aside their differences and use their influence to bring about meaningful change in Syria: to press the parties to end indiscriminate attacks on civilians; to secure the lifting of sieges where more than 212,000 people have been trapped without food for months; to enable delivery of vital surgical and other medical supplies; to end the collective punishment of civilians by cutting off of water and power supplies; and to avoid the complete collapse of the education system.

The people of Syria – and people around the world – want the suffering to end.

We ask ‘what does it take’ to end this crisis? The future of a generation is at stake. The credibility of the international community is at stake.