Syria (2011- present)
“Syria is an intractable, complex and brutal conflict. I am grateful for the work Crisis Action and its partners do to keep the spotlight on the ordinary men, women and children whose homeland has been consumed by war, to insist on our common humanity, and to advance solutions and recommendations to end their suffering.” – Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria
Since March 2011, Crisis Action has led a global coordinated response to the now proxy war in Syria. The war which has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and forced over 10 million people to flee their home in terror has spurred Crisis Action to support collaborative work to push for stronger action by the UN Security Council, the Arab League and UN agencies to further civilian protection.
Crisis Action has worked with partners to devise and deliver joint advocacy to:
- Help secure a landmark UN Security Council Resolution authorizing the cross border delivery of aid into Syria, the first time the UN mandated that aid be delivered into a country against its will;
- Highlight the plight of Syrians to publics around the world through the #WithSyrian coalition and in doing so elevating the voices of Syrians affected by the conflict;
- Convince the Arab League to adopt targeted measures against Syria such as an arms embargo, asset freeze and suspension of Syria’s membership of the League.
In March 2012, one year on from the first demonstrations in Syria, Crisis Action worked with partners from the Global South to encourage the UN Security Council to agree to the deployment of UN ceasefire monitors to Syria.
Building on this success, Crisis Action supported partners in early 2013 to persuade the BRICS Summit to call for full and unimpeded humanitarian access in Syria, the strongest language to date from the BRICS the issue.
As a result of high impact campaign work such as this a new multi-faceted campaign culminated on 2 October 2013 with the UN Security Council adopting a Presidential Statement (PRST) on humanitarian access in Syria.
To sustain pressure on the UN Crisis Action orchestrated a letter from 37 eminent lawyers and a private briefing paper by partners on how to further aid access. As a result, in July 2014, a landmark UN resolution was implemented explicitly authorizing aid agencies to cross into Syria without the government’s consent.
In December 2014, as this resolution was due to expire but with millions of Syrians still in urgent need, Crisis Action brought together 14 humanitarian organizations to urge the Security Council to renew the mandate which led to the resolution’s renewal for another year.
In March 2015, Crisis Action coordinated the WithSyria coalition to mark the fourth anniversary of the crisis. The “Turn the Lights Back On” campaign centered on satellite images which showed that 83% of night time light had gone out across in Syria since 2011 and engaged hundreds of millions people across the world.
Months later, a deadly attack on a marketplace in Aleppo in June 2015 finally led a number of governments to call for action on indiscriminate attacks. Crisis Action quickly forged a powerful coalition of 81 organisations in 36 hours to issue both a private join letter to Security Council members and a press statement lambasting the Council for its lack of action on the issue.
In an effort to shift the prevailing narrative from counter terror to humanitarian concerns and drive a stronger international response, Crisis Action has arranged for Syrian medics, aid workers and volunteers to meet international policymakers in Europe, the US and at the UN to press forward the concerns of civilians directly affected by the crisis and elevated the voices of Syrians on the ground to global audiences by facilitating interviews and the placement of open editorials with international media outlets.
“I was a doctor in Aleppo, doing my job in difficult circumstances. Working with Crisis Action and SAMS, I was able to advocate for hundreds of thousands of my fellow civilians caught in conflict. To be able to tell our story, and push the UN and state governments to prevent atrocities, is incredibly important in a time of great suffering.” – Dr. Abdel Aziz, Syrian American Medical Society