We are made to believe that we are all connected in an interconnected world.
But in fact we seem to be shackled to fear, misconceptions, false ideologies, material reward and held ransom to rules and laws laid down to safeguarded the interests of the few.
Syria’s civil war is the worst humanitarian disaster of our time. The number of innocent civilians suffering — more than ten million people are displaced, thus far — and the increasingly dire impact on neighboring countries can seem to overwhelming to understand.
So take a few minutes to understand the magnitude of this crisis.
THEY CAN TAKE A BOW. YOU ARE ALL DOING YOUR PART.
Nearly four years after it began, the full-blown civil war has killed more than 220,000 people, half of whom are believed to be civilians.
The U.N. estimates that over 7.2 million people are internally displaced — an increase of more than three million in just a year.
23 million is need urgent humanitarian assistance, whether they still remain in the country or have escaped across the borders.
In 2012, there were 100,000 refugees. By April 2013, there were 800,000. That doubled to 1.6 million in less than four months. There are now more than three million Syrians scattered throughout the region — an increasing number that will soon surpass Afghans as the world’s largest refugee population.
The worst exodus since the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago.
The majority of refugees — about 70 percent — live outside camps.
The UN is asking for $5 billion in humanitarian aid to help the millions affected by the Syria crisis.
In December 2014, the U.N. issued its largest ever appeal for a single crisis — according to their estimates, $8.4 billion is necessary to meet the needs of all those affected by the crisis, both inside and outside Syria, an increase from last year’s $6.5 billion.
Yet that previous appeal was only funded less than 50 percent.
After four years of conflict, it is clear President Assad’s allies have been more determined to keep him in power than his enemies have been to remove him.
It is already clear that international divisions over the greatest crisis of the 21st century have contributed to its severity and longevity.
With China – which had also opposed the overthrow of Saddam Hussein – it vetoed a UN resolution condemning Syria.
The paralysing cold war-style battle lines that split the UN’s top table have not changed since.
There is little or no clear Arab demand for intervention.
Iraq and Algeria backed Assad while Saudi Arabia and Qatar encouraged the flow of money and weapons to rebel units, some linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, others to hardline Salafis.
Syria’s bloody stalemate thus seems destined to continue indefinitely beyond this anniversary.
So we are looking at another 10 years, or more, of conflict?
And what, in the meantime, is the best way to support people caught up inside Syria and in refugee communities?
Germany has provided 30,000 places. Norway and Sweden have taken 2,500 each.
In January 2014, Britain announced its own scheme to help the most vulnerable – victims of torture or rape, or suffering severe ill-health. So far, the scheme has helped exactly 143 people.
Here is the proud list March 2015.
Pledges received since 2013: 61,648
Visas granted under other forms of admission: 12,354
Resettlement submissions made to the USA: 10,715
TOTAL confirmed pledges to date: 84,717
Country Total confirmed pledges (persons) received since 2013
Argentina humanitarian visa program.
Australia 5,600 resettlement and Special Humanitarian Program.
Austria 1,500 humanitarian admission.
Belarus 20 resettlement.
Belgium 300 resettlement.
Brazil open-ended humanitarian visa program.
Canada 200 resettlement 1,100 private sponsorship 10,000 resettlement/private sponsorship.
Czech Republic 70 resettlement.
Denmark 390 resettlement.
Finland 850 resettlement.
France 1,000 humanitarian admission/resettlement.
Germany 20,000 humanitarian admission 10,000 individual sponsorship.
Hungary 30 resettlement.
Ireland 310 resettlement.
Italy 400 resettlement/ 50 private sponsorship.
Liechtenstein 25 resettlement.
Luxembourg 60 resettlement.
Netherlands 500 resettlement.
New Zealand 100 resettlement.
Norway 2,500 resettlement.
Poland 100 resettlement.
Portugal 23 resettlement 70 emergency scholarships for higher education.
Spain 130 resettlement.
Sweden 2,700 resettlement.
Switzerland 3,500 resettlement and humanitarian visas.
United Kingdom Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme.
United States of America open-ended resettlement.
Uruguay 120 resettlement.
TOTAL 61,648 + additional number to the United States of America IN ADDITION…
Brazil has so far issued 6,053 humanitarian visas. Individuals admitted to Brazil under this program have the right to apply for refugee status.
Switzerland initiated a temporary extended family reunification program for Syrian refugees from September to November 2013. Under this program, 8,200 applications were received, and nearly 4,700 visas have been issued to date.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has so far accepted 143 Syrian refugees under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme (number of arrivals as at last quarterly published statistics).
Ireland has accepted 111 Syrian refugees under the Syrian Humanitarian Admission Program.
Since 2012, France has provided close to 1,400 asylum visas for Syrians, which enable them to travel to France for the purpose of applying for asylum.
UNHCR has so far submitted 10,715 Syrian refugees to the United States of America for resettlement consideration (as of 28 February 2015).
A number of scholarship programs have been created for Syrian students whose education has been interrupted by the conflict.
And you wonder Why we have ISIS.
All I can say is Bravo. That leaves 22,938,352.