UOSSM was received on January 8, 2020 at the Élysée Palace by President Emmanuel Macron, along with 15 other humanitarian organizations operating in Syria.
Dr. Ziad Alissa, President of UOSSM France and Professor Raphael Pitti, UOSSM Training Manager & Board Member, discussed the tremendous suffering of the people in Idlib and the immediate need for bold action.
UOSSM indicated to the president the urgency of the humanitarian catastrophe that was unfolding in Northern Syria. Currently, over 235,000 people have been displaced by airstrikes and are left exposed in the freezing cold with shortages of food, water, shelter and medical aid. The medical infrastructure in Idlib has been crippled by a year of hospital bombings and years of war. UOSSM asks for a reaction that meets these enormous challenges, and that France does not look away in the face of this dramatic situation.
Dr. Ziad Alissa, President of UOSSM France said, “The president was listening and we felt we were heard with compassion and seriousness. The president told us he would work through the UN to ensure humanitarian aid would continue to be able to cross borders. He also said that he wanted a truce in Idlib to avoid a further humanitarian catastrophe. The president said he was ready to receive us again to discuss developments of this situation.”
Professor Raphael Pitti, Training Manager of UOSSM said,
“If there was an earthquake in Bordeaux, a city with 250,000 people like the number of displaced in Idlib since mid-December, France and the whole international community would mobilize to send aid immediately. Today, what we do for Idlib is very little and clearly insufficient. France must provide more humanitarian aid to Syria and support organizations that are present in Idlib such as UOSSM. "
Following the meeting with President Emmanuel Macron, UOSSM requests France and the UN take immediate action to reopen humanitarian crossings into Syria and work to stop the indiscriminate bombing of civilians and medical infrastructure in Northern Syria. UOSSM asks other world leaders to follow Emmanuel Macron’s example and make humanitarian aid to Syria a top priority. UOSSM will continue to provide free healthcare to the people of Syria regardless of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.
*Numbers are constantly changing due to situation on the ground.