Foreign Affairs Committee to discuss Syrian humanitarian crisis with Concern

October 7th, 2014 - Pat Breen

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade meets tomorrow with representatives from Concern for a discussion on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria.

The work of Concern there is focussed on the provision of adequate safe water supplies to those most impacted by the civil war, which has so far claimed over 200,000 lives.

Chairman of the Committee Pat Breen says: “The three and half year old conflict in Syria, which started out as a popular uprising against regime corruption, has become a major internal conflict and is now the leading source of instability across the region. The Committee has been closely following the ongoing hostilities with grave concern. The rise of the radical jihadist forces ISIS and the Al-Qaeda linked group Jabat Al-Nusra has led to a further deterioration in an already precarious human rights situation. Tomorrow’s briefing from Concern will provide an opportunity to assess the enormous humanitarian challenges posed by a conflict that shows no sign of ending.

“With over three million refugees who have fled the country and about nine million people internally displaced, the Committee is particularly appalled at the denial of access to humanitarian aid to needy populations. Concern’s Emergencies Unit has been at the coal face in Turkey, Syria and the Lebanon since May 2013 and has so far provided almost 160,000 people with daily drinking water. We look forward to hearing from Concern representatives on what actions Ireland, the European Union and the wider international community might take to support the efforts of humanitarian organisations in Syria and surrounding countries.”

The meeting commences tomorrow Wednesday 8 October at 2:30 pm in Committee Room 1, LH 2000. The meeting will be broadcast live on Oireachtas TV (UPC 207 and Sky 574) and can also be viewed online here: http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/watchlisten/live-flashplayer/committeeroom1/.