WriteYou's Syria Feature

As the ever-chaotic, ever-distressing pictures and reports continue to emerge from Syria and especially its besieged city of Aleppo, WriteYou launches a special intervention talking to various people and organisations who work at home or in Syria and asks how we can make sense of what is happening and more importantly - how we can help.

Tanya Barron, CEO Plan UK, looks at the shocking statistics that show 1 in every 122 people on the planet are now either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum. Ms Barron says that girls are the most vulnerable during conflicts and urges the international community to ensure settlements for refugees are gender sensitive:

“In doing so, we can help to ease the pain many of these families, mothers and daughters will have experienced and give them the chance at a better future.”

Jess Bailey, crowdfunding specialist at GlobalGiving, asks why aren’t people donating to Syria?

“Is it just the chaos of the situation that holds people back from enjoying our ‘buy one get one half-price’ offer? Or are our charities working too hard on the ground to spend time spreading the awareness of their excellent work?”

Sam Smith, a writer with the British Red Cross, looks at the ever perilous role of aid workers on the front line and the tragic death of his Red Cross colleague who was killed delivering humanitarian aid to the people of Aleppo.

“When did it become okay to deliberately target humanitarian aid? When did it become okay to deliberately target hospitals and civilians? When did it become okay to just look the other way?”

Elizabeth Rowley, founder and director of T1International, discusses the implications of those suffering from the double burden of war and diabetes.

“Picture trying to manage such a condition without regular access to insulin or the other tools needed to keep blood sugar levels stable.”

Sir Henry Bellingham, Conservative MP for North West Norfolk, says the terrible tragedy ravaging Syria has parallels with 1930s civil war Spain - a complex war which also saw outside influences involve themselves. Sir Henry offers four immediate suggestions of what the government needs to do next, including the need to:

“Make a renewed effort alongside the US to work with the Russians on a post-conflict transition plan. Of course, Bashar al-Assad cannot be part of a future Syria but it would be naïve in the extreme to believe that he can be excluded from this transition.”

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