World Vision welcomes Government response to Syrian refugee crisis
World Vision Australia welcomes the Australian Government’s decision to provide 12,000 additional places for Syrian refugees and an extra $44 million in humanitarian funding to help alleviate the Syrian refugee crisis as a first step in the right direction.
Chief executive of World Vision Australia, Tim Costello, said the Government’s response was welcome but given the global refugee crisis and escalating humanitarian impact of the conflict in Syria, the decision was likely to need to be revisited soon.
“The world is facing the worst refugee crisis since World War II so while the Government’s decision is progress, Australia could still play a much more significant role in alleviating the problem,” Mr Costello said.
“As the past few days have shown, Australians have opened their hearts to the plight of Syrians fleeing the conflict that has engulfed their homeland. Like all Australians, I welcome the Government’s announcement but I also believe that most Australians believe we need to be doing more,” Mr Costello said.
Mr Costello said there is an urgent need to address the serious shortfall in the global humanitarian appeal for Syria. The vast majority of Syrian refugees – over four million - are being hosted in neighbouring countries who are struggling to meet their needs. Without more funding, more lives will be lost and the suffering will continue.
“Even with the announcement of new funding, Australia still has a long way to go to meet its $144 million fair share of the global Syrian appeal,” Mr Costello said.
Mr Costello said that with no end to the conflict in Syria in sight, in addition to amplifying Australia’s humanitarian intake, the Abbott Government should also increase diplomatic efforts that would help to secure a lasting and effective peace agreement, so that one day, Syrian refugees may be able to return home.
“Most Syrians haven’t fled their country lightly but have done so with the hope of one day being able to return home. Australia can and must do more to accelerate a resolution between both parties to the conflict,” Mr Costello said.
While the plight of the many Syrian refugees is at the forefront of people’s minds right now, World Vision is urging the Government and Australians not to forget the millions who are also seeking safety from conflict and persecution in countries such as Afghanistan, South Sudan, Somalia and Myanmar.
World Vision works in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq improving health and food security and providing water, sanitation and non-food items like mosquito nets and nutrition kits as well as shelter to children and their families.
People can donate to World Vision’s Syria Crisis Appeal by visiting worldvision.com.au
Tim Costello is in Canberra today and early tomorrow morning and is available for interviews.
For interviews please contact Jessica Ciccotelli, World Vision Australia, 0402 971 225
Back to all Results