LCID is joining the call for Theresa May to authorise immediate airdrops of food and medicine to people trapped in besieged areas of Syria.
We are running out of time to help the 275,000 civilians trapped in east Aleppo. The head of the White Helmets Raed al-Saleh has said that Aleppo’s residents are less than 10 days from starvation.
Air-dropping aid is only ever a last resort, but who can credibly claim we have not reached that point?
120+ MPs have so far signed the statement, which is shown in full below. This is a cross-party initiative being led by our Vice-President Alison McGovern MP in her role as Co-Chair of the APPG on Syria and we wholeheartedly encourage all MPs to support it.
Additionally, LCID will be hosting a on Syria and the incredible work of the White Helmets on Monday 12th December in Parliament in Committee Room 9 at 7pm. More details to follow – please coming along if you can make it.
After Rwanda, after Srebrenica, we said ‘never again.’ If that is to mean something, we have to recognise this is our last chance to save lives in Aleppo and act immediately.
In May, responding to the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Syria, the government said that “preparations for airdrops will now take place and go forward rapidly because there isn’t a moment to lose”.
Almost 200 days later and thousands of Syrians are still waiting, none more desperately than the 275,000 civilians trapped in besieged East Aleppo.
This is now the epicentre of the crisis. The Assad and Putin regimes are moving to ‘exterminate’ all those who have not already been killed as a consequence of their indiscriminate bombing campaigns.
In the last ten days all hospitals there, including the last children’s hospital, have been bombed out of operation. Centres belonging to the heroic volunteers of the White Helmets have also been destroyed. The last aid delivery was three months ago and medical workers estimate we have less than two weeks before all food runs out.
With our Royal Air Force already operational in the air over Syria, we are calling on you to urgently authorise the airdropping of aid to besieged civilian populations. It is simply not acceptable that during the biggest aid operation in the UN’s history, and in the full glare of the world’s media, nearly 100,000 children are facing the slowest, cruelest death because we cannot reach them with food and medical supplies.
Airdropping aid is only ever a last resort, but who can credibly claim we have not reached that point? The Syrian government is refusing all attempts to allow access to UN relief agencies whilst simultaneously dropping chlorine gas onto civilian populations.
Our country has dependable partners on the ground in Aleppo, such as the White Helmets, who are ready to coordinate collection and distribution of the airdrops if we can summon the courage to carry them out.
The time for excuses is over.