Friday, January 08, 2016

Paddy Ashdown and Labour MP send joint letter on Syria

Paddy Ashdown and Jo Cox, the Labour MP for Batley and Spen, have written a joint letter to David Cameron calling on him to involve the RAF in getting aid to the starving inhabitants of the of Madaya in Syria.

The letter begins:
The images and stories from besieged Madaya in Syria are truly shocking. 
According to reports, in the past month alone 31 civilians have died in Madaya as a result of starvation or attempted escape, while the UN estimates that 400,000 remain besieged across the country. 
We find it astonishing that so little has been done by the international community to break these sieges when life-saving medical and food aid are often only minutes away,
And they conclude:
We urge you to push the UN, in particular the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, to be far bolder in its aid delivery and stop asking unnecessary permission from the Syrian government. 
In the case that the UN continues to be denied access to these besieged areas by the Assad regime, the UK should strongly consider airdropping aid to those communities at risk of starvation. In some of these areas, the RAF is already flying anti-ISIS missions, and if necessary this is something we should press our European partners to support. 
Like the airdrops by the US in 2014 to the Yazidis in Iraq, and the leadership shown by the last Conservative Government to save lives with similar action in Northern Iraq, there are immediate steps we can take to stop more vulnerable people dying needlessly of hunger. We cannot sit by and watch this happen.
Read the full letter.

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