EU Commissioner urges immediate end to Syrian war

Christos Stylianides says aid cannot be delivered "when convoys are deliberately shot at"

EU Commissioner urges immediate end to Syrian war

World Bulletin / News Desk

EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides on Wednesday stressed the urgent need to end the Syrian civil war, decrying attacks on aid convoys.

"When convoys are deliberately shot at, it becomes virtually impossible to deliver aid. There has never been a greater urgency to end this madness. We quickly need a political solution to this war," he said.

Stylianides was referring to the attack on Sept. 19, when a UN-Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid convoy that was delivering humanitarian aid to nearly 300,000 residents besieged in Aleppo was hit.

Amid conflicting reports about casualties, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed 12 people, including aid workers and truck drivers, were killed in the attack. Media reports said 18 of a total of 31 trucks were hit.

Stylianides described the attack as "horrific".

"It showed that new depths have been reached in the way the war is conducted. And it shows, very worryingly, that there is now a real pattern of targeting aid convoys and aid workers. That is outrageous."

Stylianides was in Turkey to sign what he said "the largest humanitarian project the EU has ever supported."

The Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) Project is a program that allows refugees to receive an electronic card with monthly cash transfers, and is part of the EU's commitment to support Turkey amid the refugee crisis.

"With €348 million, we intend to reach 1 million of the most vulnerable refugees in Turkey. Those who are destitute, who have no other sources of income, or who have special needs," Stylianides said, adding some additional funding might be added into the ESSN next year.

The EU Commissioner praised Turkey's "outstanding role" in responding to the refugee crisis.

"Turkey's people and government have been extraordinarily generous - welcoming three million refugees, giving access to key services such as health and education, or giving access to the labour market," he said.

Stylianides also praised the "effective and professional" work of Turkish Red Crescent and Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) "both in the camps and for the many refugees living outside the camps."

Turkey's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Omer Celik said Monday that the Turkish government and local NGOs have spent more than $25 billion for nearly three million refugees hosted in the country since 2011. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Eylül 2016, 14:16