As a politics and global development student at Queen’s University I find it amazing how little I know about the Syrian Crisis, especially how it affects surrounding nations, food security, and the emphasized effects it has on woman and children. It is so important for us all to not only listen to what the news is saying but to go into depth with it and actually look into it on our own time, to look at all the different effects it truly has on an international scale. This week on ethical eats we are going to look into the situation of the Syrian Crisis and learn how we can help, the first step towards helping is getting educated!
Where did this all start?
8 steps of how it all started:
- Uprising turns Violent: 2011-Pro democratic Protests in Deraa erupted after the arrest and torture of teenagers who painted revolutionary slogans on a school wall. Security forces opened fire on demonstrators killing several… more protestors took to the streets. This triggered unrest nationwide demanding President Assad’s resignation, government use of force created more protest by July hundreds of thousands of people were taking to the streets.
- Descent into civil war: This violence escalated to civil war, rebel brigades were formed to battle government forces. The conflict increased to not only be a divide between those for and against President Assad, sectarian overtones became present between the countries Sunni majority against the president’s Shia Alawite sect. This has drawn in neighbouring countries and world powers. The rise of jihadist groups has become present.
- War Crimes: UN commission of inquiry has evidence that both sides of the conflict have committed war crimes including murder, torture, rape, and enforced disappearances. Government and rebel forces have been accused of using civilian suffering-blocking food, water and resources. Islamic state- terror in northern and eastern Syria, public executions and amputations.
- Chemical Weapons: August of 2013-rockets filled with nerve agent sarin were fired at agricultural districts around Damascus. The prospect of US military involvement made President Assad agree to the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. Despite this there is documented proof of the use of toxic chemicals by Syrian government on rebel groups resulting more deaths.
- Humanitarian Crisis: More than four billion people have fled Syria, mainly woman and children, one of the largest refugee exoduses of history. Neighbouring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan are struggling with accommodating all these refugees. Syrian social welfare systems are in a state of collapse.
- Rebels and the rise of jihadists: Secular moderates are now outnumbered by jihadists and Islamic State. 2014-US coalition launches air strikes in Syria in an effort to degrade and destroy IS.
- Peace efforts: Neither side is able to defeat the other, the international community agrees that only a political solution could end the conflict. A number of attempts by the UN and Arab League at ceasefire and dialogue have failed. Geneva Communique led by US, UN and Russia broke down.
- Proxy War: Arab spring uprising, proxy war has drawn in regional and world powers.
This is the situation that has erupted in Syria, these are the facts and the process that has brought the world into an international crisis of how to assist Syria. The major problems are how to assist refugees.
How is Food Security important in the Crisis?
Some facts from Oxfam international:
- Over 220,000 people have lost their lives in the Crisis
- 6 million people have fled from their homes
- 4 million refugees are living in neighbouring nations
- 12.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance such as food, water and shelter
Millions of refugees from Syria are fleeing to bordering countries, millions have had to flee from their homes, their lands, with no food, water, shelter. Many are injured, sick and in desperate need of assistance. The problems surrounding food security issues is the inability for neighbouring countries to supply all these refugees with sufficient amounts of food, water and resources. Syria and bordering nations are in need of support from the international community.
How to help?
Oxfam international is taking donations to help million of refugees across Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.
“Syria: The Story of the Conflict – BBC News.” BBC News. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.
“Syrian Refugee Crisis – Double Your Impact.” Oxfam Canada. 28 Feb. 2014. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.