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UN agencies issue rare joint appeal for action to end bloodshed in Syria

ALISTAIR DAWBER
London Independent [1]
April 16, 2013

After more than two years of bloodshed in Syria the heads of five UN agencies called on the international community to make a meaningful contribution to end the civil war, which has already claimed the lives of more than 70,000 people.

In what they described as an “unprecedented joint appeal” the heads of the five humanitarian groups – Unicef, WFP, UNHCR, WHO and UNOCHA – called for greater urgency among government, whose collective influence could “find a potential solution to the crisis”.

Since the start of the fighting – the corollary of a brutal crackdown by those loyal to President Bashar al-Assad against those calling for his ouster – the international community has been plagued by squabbling over how to bring the crisis to an end. Western governments, who have slowly and incrementally provided funding and equipment to rebel group, have blamed Russia for prolonging the crisis by blocking various moves to punish Assad at the UN Security Council. Moscow has argued for a negotiated settlement.

“We, leaders of UN agencies charged with dealing with the human costs of this tragedy, appeal to political leaders involved to meet their responsibility to the people of Syria and to the future of the region,” the joint statement said.

Full article here [1]