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UAE seeks global help for Syria`s neighbours

Last Updated: Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 18:00

Geneva: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has appealed to the international community to ease the burden of Syria`s neighbouring countries, who are shouldering the economic and social repercussions of an influx of two million Syrian refugees, one million of whom are vulnerable children.

"Today we stand here not as politicians, not as religious leaders, but simply as fellow human beings who refuse to look the other way during one of the biggest humanitarian catastrophes in human history,” Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, the UN High Commission for Refugees` eminent advocate for refugee children was quoted Sunday as saying.

She was speaking at a high-level session of Middle Eastern delegates on the sidelines of the 64th session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner`s Programme in Geneva.

“I notice media headlines calling this a `Syrian crisis`, but the truth is that it has spilled over and escalated into a Lebanese crisis, a Jordanian crisis, a Turkish crisis - in short, it is no longer just an Arab crisis but a crisis for humanity," she said.

In a sign of the escalating crisis, the host countries are no longer restricted to Syria`s immediate neighbours, but now extend to North African countries like Libya and Egypt, which are themselves experiencing political turmoil.

The Geneva session was aimed at raising emergency support for countries offering sanctuary to the Syrian refugees.

"There are about 200 countries in the world, yet it is tragic that only a handful of countries are shouldering the entire burden of Syria`s refugees,” Sheikha Qasimi said.

“These countries already had their own problems, but have shown remarkable generosity to share the few resources they have with refugees. Now it is time to show that the phrase `global community` is not just empty talk,” she added.


First Published: Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 18:00

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