New York: Highlighting the urgent need to build a consensus on the humanitarian situation in Syria, India urged the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to assess the “costs of its actions and inactions”. Speaking in the UNSC Meeting on Syria (humanitarian issues) on Monday, TS Tirumurti, Indian envoy at the UN, said that the decade-long conflict has had a devastating effect on the people of Syria. He said that India is deeply concerned with the alarming statistics.
“An estimated half-million people have died, millions have been displaced, both internally and externally, the health infrastructure has collapsed, and children have been deprived of basic education. Women, children and youth have especially been deeply impacted. The Covid-19 pandemic has further aggravated the humanitarian situation,” Tirumurti said.
The unrest in Syria began in 2011 as part of a wider Arab Springs protest and has escalated from discontent against the Syrian government to an internal armed conflict. The conflict has left more than 380,000 people dead, devastated cities and drawn in other countries. More than 5 million Syrians have fled the country and 6 million are internally displaced. With more than 13 million people in need of assistance, the conflict has caused untold suffering for Syrian men, women and children.
“The Council needs to introspect about the cost of its actions and inactions. There is an urgent need to build consensus on the humanitarian situation and collectively work to ameliorate the sufferings of people in Syria. We cannot afford to be unmoved,” he said.
Indian ambassador added that there is an urgent need to collectively work to ease the suffering of the people who have been suffering in the middle eastern country. Syria’s economy has suffered multiple shocks over the past decade, said the Indian envoy, adding that “the substantial depreciation of the Syrian Pound, which lost more than three-quarters of its value over the past year alone, has led to spiraling inflation and dwindling purchasing power of the average Syrian household”.
“The last decade has largely been lost for the Syrians, particularly for the children and youth, who have not been seeing anything but violence and conflict since 2011. This suffering should certainly move the Council members. The Council needs to introspect about the cost of its actions and inactions. There is an urgent need to build consensus on the humanitarian situation and collectively work to ameliorate the suffering of people in Syria. We cannot afford to be unmoved,” he said.
India, the ambassador said, strongly condemned the attack on the surgical hospital in Al Atareb that resulted in the killing of innocent civilians. Artillery shelling killed six civilians, including a child when it hit a surgical hospital in rebel-held northwest Syria early this month.
Tirumurti added that India has already extended immediate medical assistance and food assistance to Syria recently, in addition to the development cooperation projects, including US$ 265 million in soft loans, and substantial human resources development initiatives under our technical cooperation program.
India’s artificial limb fitment camp of the well-known ‘Jaipur Foot’ of the Jaipur-based BMVSS in India, which was conducted in Damascus, benefited over 500 Syrians affected by the conflict. “We had undertaken this Jaipur Foot initiative under the rubric of- India For Humanity”, he added.
(With ANI inputs)