Here’s a snapshot from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs that shows the current number of people in need of assistance across Syria and the region. As of last week there were in total, 1.6 million refugees and about 7 million people in need of assistance inside Syria.
This is a humanitarian disaster of catastrophic proportions, but so far, the international response has not been commensurate to the scale to of the crisis.
The precise extent to which the international community is failing the Syrian people can be easily measured. You take the total funding requirements that the UN and aid agencies say is needed to provide for basic humanitarian assistance of people affected by the conflict ($4,391,452,578), then substract from it the total funding received ($1,535,171,750).
That leaves $2,856,280,828 in unmet funding requirements. This translates to food not delivered; vaccines not administered; clean water not available; shelter not provided; and children not in school.
$2.8 billion is not an exorbitant sum, especially when spread across all donor countries. With international diplomacy at a standstill, the most basic way to help suffering Syrians is to help pay for food, medicines and shelter for people displaced by the conflict.
It’s the least we can do. But we are only doing 35% of it.