Syria: Europe must not fund the government’s reconstruction plans until political transition underway

Press release
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On revolution’s sixth anniversary, international civil society calls for European leaders to lead on Syria crisis

Brussels/London/Paris – European tax-payers’ money must not go to Syria’s government for reconstruction until an inclusive, durable transition is underway, an international coalition of more than 80 civil society organisations has said today, ahead of the revolution’s sixth anniversary on 15 March

The call comes ahead of a major conference to be held in Brussels on 4 and 5 April, at which European funding for the reconstruction will be discussed. The coalition called on European leaders to insist that not a single penny or cent for reconstruction will reach the Syrian government until:

· An inclusive political transition with credible guarantees is underway;
· the Assad government and its allies have ended all attacks on civilians and respects a ceasefire with the moderate opposition;
· there is an end to the sieges, with full and unhindered humanitarian access and passage for civilians;
· independent monitors are allowed unhindered access to places of detention;
· humanitarian and civil society organisations are effectively decriminalised and their necessary contribution to the future of Syria recognised.

“Without the credible promise of democracy, and an end to attacks on civilians, siege-warfare, torture and the criminalisation of civil society and humanitarian actors, there can be no transition worth the name in Syria. If European leaders neglect these conditions, they will be bankrolling continued war crimes and instability."

Dimitris Christopoulos, FIDH President

Recently, the UN estimated that more than 600,000 Syrians are denied access to humanitarian aid by siege warfare, while the Siege Watch project puts this number at more than 900,000. More than 90,000 are forcibly disappeared or detained in prisons in which torture is rife.

“Russia has said it wants Europe to fund the reconstruction of Syria. Russia has also at last recognised that there is a moderate opposition. That suggests that Europe has leverage which – if used wisely – could help to energise the peace talks, and to create momentum towards a genuine, inclusive political transition, followed by reconstruction."

Jan Gruiters PAX Director

The call comes six years after peaceful protestors first took to the streets in Syria to call for freedom and reform. Despite a nominal ceasefire, civilians are dying due to aerial and artillery bombardment every day. Humanitarian access has worsened since the ceasefire begun on 1 January.

“In Eastern Ghouta, where the regime is gradually cutting off the lifeline of 450,000 Syrians to the outside world, patients are already dying due to lack of medicine, food is becoming more expensive, and every day brings fresh casualties from conventional or chemical weapons. We fear that Eastern Ghouta will be the next of many more Aleppos yet to come – cut off, strangled, and bombarded while the world watches.”

Husam AlKatlaby, CEO of the Violations Documentation Centre in Syria
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  • Co-signatories

    FIDH, Abrar Halap Association for Relief and Development*, Ahl Horan, Al Ihsan Local Organization for Relief & Development*, Al-AMEEN*, AL-Basar Organization*, Alkawakibi Organization for Human Rigths, Alseeraj for Development and Healthcare*, Amrha*, Arab Coalition for Sudan, Attaa Association*, Attaa for Relief and Development (ARD)*, Bader Organization*, Balad Syria Organisation*, Basmet Amal Charity*,Baytna Syria,Bihar Relief Organization*, Broederlijk Delen, Collectif Pour une Syrie Libre et Démocratique (CPLSD), Civil Care Organization*, Collectif des Amis d’Alep,Damascene House Foundation for Society Development*, Dawlaty, Deir Elzzor United Association (FURAT)*, Education Without Borders (MIDAD)*, EduRights Foundation*, Emaar Al Sham Humanitarian Association*, Enjaz Development Foundation*, Gaith Organization*, Ghazi Sham Organization*, Ghiath Matar Foundation*, Green Organization*, Human Care Organization-Arsal*, Humanitarian Relief Association (IYD)*, Independent Doctors’ Association, Insan for Psychosocial Support*, INSURYA*, International Humanitarian Relief*, International Supporting Woman Association (ISWA)*, Irtiqaa Foundation*, Jana Watan Association*, Local Development and Small-Projects Support (LDSPS), Maram Foundation for Relief & Development*, Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, Mountain Foundation*, NAS Organization*, Nasaem Khair*, NuDay Syria*, Orient for Human Relief*, Pax Christi Flanders, PAX, Qitaf Al Khair Relief Association*, Resalet Al-Sham Humanitarian Association*, Saed Charity Association*, Save A Soul*, Sawa Association*, Sedra Association for Charity*, Sham Association for Orphans Care*, Shama Association*, Snabel Al Khyr*, Souria Houria, Syria Charity*, Syria Institute for Justice,Syria Relief Organization*, Syrian Education Commission (SEC)*, Syrian Engineers for Construction & Development Organization (SECD)*,Syrian Institute for Justice, Syrian Medical Mission*, Syrian Network for Human Rights.,Syrian Orphans Organization*, Takaful Al Sham Charity Organization*, The Society for threatened Peoples (Germany), The Syria Campaign, The Syrian Establishment for Human Care & Enhancement (MASRRAT)*, Trócaire,Tuba Dernegi*, Unified Revolutionary Medical Bureau in East Ghouta*, Union Of Syrians Abroad*, Vague Blanche pour la Syrie, Violations Documentation Center in Syria, White Hands - Beyazeller*, Women Now for Development (Syria)

    *Ces organisations sont membres du Syria Relief Network (SRN), une organisation rassemblant des ONG humanitaires syriennes œuvrant en Syrie et dans les pays voisins pour fournir de l’assistance humanitaire en lien avec la crise syrienne.

  • Member organisations - Syria
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    Saudi Arabia Bahrain United Arab Emirates Iraq Iran Kuwait Oman Qatar Syria Yemen

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