Syria Peace Talks Must Unlock Humanitarian Access

Monday January 23, 2017 : Statement by 97 Syrian and international NGOs on the Astana talks

As peace talks commence today between the Syrian government and opposition groups in Astana, Kazakhstan, at least 700,000 people inside Syria – 300,000 of them children – are trapped in besieged areas without the most basic provisions to sustain their lives, according to the United Nations. Some groups put the number at one million.  

The ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey on December 30th is welcome but it is only one step towards relieving the suffering of millions of Syrians. Almost five million people across the country have limited access to humanitarian aid. Fierce fighting has continued in the suburbs of Damascus, where millions have been deprived of access to clean water. Many Syrians are no less vulnerable than they were before the ceasefire.  

If peace talks in Astana are to succeed, Russia and Turkey must ensure the ceasefire brings real change for Syrians, not only by halting the fighting completely but also by allowing sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to all populations in need. The success of the talks will be measured by the abiding commitments made by all parties to unlock humanitarian access, end unlawful sieges, uphold the ceasefire and reconvene for inclusive political negotiations under UN auspices in Geneva on February 8th.  

As co-organizers of the Astana talks and guarantors of the ceasefire, Russia and Turkey are in the spotlight. If they are unable or unwilling to bring about real humanitarian progress on the ground, history will judge their efforts harshly, and the suffering of millions of Syrians will continue.

List of signatories

  1.       11.11.11
  2.       Abrar Halap Association for Relief and Development*
  3.       Ahl Horan*
  4.       Al-Ameen*
  5.       Al-Basar Organization*
  6.       Alkawakibi Organization for Human Rights’
  7.       Alseeraj for Development and Healthcare*
  8.       Amrha*
  9.       Arab Coalition for Sudan
  10.   Arab Program for Human Rights Activists
  11.   Attaa Association*
  12.   Attaa for Relief and Development (ARD)*
  13.   Balad Syria Organization*
  14.   Basmet Amal Charity*
  15.   Baytna Syria
  16.   Bihar Relief Organization*
  17.   Binaa for Development
  18.   Bonyan*
  19.   Broederlijk Delen
  20.   CAABU (Council for Arab-British Understanding)
  21.   CAFOD (Catholic International Development charity)
  22.   CARE International
  23.   Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)
  24.   Christian Aid
  25.   Collectif pour une Syrie libre et démocratique (PSLD)
  26.   Damascene House Foundation for Society Development*
  27.   Deir Elzzor United Association (FURAT)*
  28.   Doctors of the World
  29.   Education Without Borders (MIDAD)*
  30.   EduRights Foundation*
  31.   Emaar Al Sham Humanitarian Association*
  32.   Enjaz Development Foundation*
  33.   Ghiath Matar Foundation*
  34.   Hand in Hand for Syria
  35.   Help 4 Syria*
  36.   Human Appeal
  37.   Human Care Organization – Arsal*
  38.   Humanitarian Relief Association (IYD)*
  39.   IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation
  40.   Independent Doctors Association (IDA)
  41.   Insan for Psychosocial Support*
  42.   InSurya*
  43.   International Humanitarian Relief*
  44.   International Rescue Committee
  45.   International Supporting Woman Association (ISWA)*
  46.   Irtiqaa Foundation*
  47.   Islamic Relief
  48.   Karam Foundation
  49.   Maram Foundation for Relief & Development*
  50.   Mercy Corps
  51.   Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
  52.   Mountain Foundation*
  53.   Najda Now*
  54.   NAS*
  55.   Nasaem Khair*
  56.   No Peace Without Justice
  57.   NuDay Syria*
  58.   Orient for Human Relief*
  59.   OXFAM
  60.   Pax Christi Flanders
  61.   Physicians for Human Rights
  62.   Qitaf Al Khair Relief Association*
  63.   Rethink Rebuild Society
  64.   Revivre
  65.   Saed Charity Association*
  66.   Save A Soul*
  67.   Save the Children
  68.   Sedra Association for Charity*
  69.   Sham Association for Orphans Care*
  70.   Shama Association*
  71.   Snabel Al Khyr*
  72.   Souria Houria
  73.   STAND
  74.   Syria Charity*
  75.   Syria Relief and Development
  76.   Syria Relief Organization*
  77.   Syrian Education Commission (SEC)*
  78.   Syrian Engineers for Construction and Development Organization (SECD)*
  79.   Syrian Institute for Justice
  80.   Syrian Medical Mission*
  81.   Syrian Network for Human Rights
  82.   Syrian Orphans Organization*
  83.   Syrians for Truth and Justice
  84.   Takaful Al Sham Charity Organization*
  85.   Tearfund
  86.   The Society for Threatened Peoples (Germany)
  87.   The Syria  Campaign
  88.   The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression
  89.   The Syrian Establishment for Human Care & Enhancement (MASRRAT)*
  90.   Tuba Dernegi*
  91.   Unified Revolutionary Medical Bureau in East Gouta*
  92.   Union of Syrians Abroad*
  93.   War Child Canada
  94.   War Child UK
  95.   White Hands – Beyazeller*
  96.   Women Now For Development
  97.   World Vision

*These organizations are members of the Syria Relief Network (SRN), an umbrella organization of Syrian humanitarian NGOs working inside Syria and neighboring countries to provide all humanitarian assistance relating to the Syrian Crisis.