Governments must do more to meet the immediate needs of Syria’s people


The Methodist Church, along with three other major UK Churches, has called on governments to provide substantial new funding to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, including refugees in the neighbouring countries of Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.


The call from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church came on the eve of the international pledging conference for Syria, which took place in London earlier this month.

The Revd Steve Wild, President of the Methodist Conference, said: “The bombing and shelling of civilian areas by the Syrian Government and other groups has caused immense death and suffering. The disregard for civilian life has been shocking; it is callous and totally unacceptable, even in war.”

In the light of the recent deaths from hunger in the Syrian town of Madaya, he continued: “It is a fundamental principle under international humanitarian law that those fighting a conflict must not restrict the delivery of aid to victims. The parties to the conflict who are meeting in Geneva must tackle this issue. They have a responsibility to ensure that life-saving aid gets to all in need.” Since these words the UN have made unveiled plans for aid convoys.

This challenge to governments follows on from a combined statement on Syria issued in December 2015, in which the Churches challenged the divisive rhetoric that sets communities apart and committed themselves to prayer for those suffering conflict and for those tasked with negotiating solutions and bringing security.

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