(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM))
ABU DHABI, 14th March, 2018 (WAM) -- Half a million lives have been lost, millions displaced and the country lies in ruins. Yet, there's no indication that the senseless violence in Syria will cease in the near future, a UAE newspaper has commented.
"The collective failure of the international community to stop the colossal destruction caused by the Syrian conflict, which is entering its eighth year on Thursday, will remain a blot on human conscience forever," said The Gulf Today in an editorial on Wednesday.
According to United Nations data, the conflict has produced more than 5.6 million Syrian refugees and 6.1 million internally displaced people, with more than 13 million people inside the country requiring humanitarian assistance, including nearly six million children.
Add to this the grim fact that in 2017, more children were killed in Syria than during any other year since the war began.
The paper quoted Kate Gilmore, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, as saying that some 125,000 children remain trapped in Eastern Ghouta, many acutely malnourished and most profoundly traumatised. As she said, what is happening to those children is too graphic for our TV screens, but not graphic enough it seems to motivate those who can stop the senseless violence to do so.
The paper went on to say, "With 69 percent of civilians inside the country languishing in extreme poverty, conditions are worse than ever. Ninety percent of families now spend more than half their annual income on food as prices are, on average, eight times higher than pre-crisis levels.
"A full two-thirds of Syria's 8.4 million children need humanitarian assistance, while one million of them live in areas that are difficult to reach by aid convoys and 170,000 in besieged areas."
Adding to the concern, none of the UN Security Council's directives have been implemented: the provision of humanitarian aid and services has not been safe, unimpeded or sustained; no sieges have been lifted and critically sick or wounded persons are yet to be evacuated.
"The gravity of crimes against civilians in Syria is too shocking. All that the Syrian people have seen in the last few years are death, destruction, hunger and misery," concluded the Sharjah-based daily.