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Red Cross leaders speak as one

Tuesday 12 November 2013

To the people of Syria: the world will stand with you

Dr Abdul Rahman Attar, President of Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Peter Maurer, President International Committee of the Red Cross and Mr Bekele Geleta, Secretary General International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Today, leaders of the Red Cross Movement and National Societies impacted by the crisis in Syria came together to voice their concerns about the deteriorating humanitarian situation.

The panel discussed the barriers to getting aid through to people who are in desperate need of water, food and medicines.

Dr Abdul Rahman Attar, President, Syrian Arab Red Crescent said 31 volunteers had been killed in the conflict, some as recently as this week. "The need is more and we need more help," he said.

The conflict in Syria is one of the most violent in recent memory with more than 100,000 people killed, at least half a million wounded and millions of people displaced into neighboring countries.

"Syria will be remembered as the conflict where the basic right for the wounded and sick is routinely ignored," said Peter Maurer, President ICRC.

In a show of solidarity, representatives from the IFRC, ICRC, and the National Societies of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey addressed the media in Sydney. Australian Red Cross CEO Robert Tickner reflected that the international movement has strength in unity.

"If anything would make us proud of our movement it's the way that people are speaking jointly on this issue today," he said.

Bekele Geleta, Secretary General of IFRC made this plea: "I say to the public - don't abandon the Syrian children women and men... To the suffering Syrians I say never give up ... The world will stand with you."