Twenty-eight Western nations pledged this week in Geneva, Switzerland, to accept some 100,000 Syrian refugees, thus setting the stage for some of the displaced people to resume what they could salvage of their lives - uprooted, and scarred for life, by Bashar al Assad's war. Yet, of the 3.2 million registered Syrian refugees, 100,000 represents a small percentage of the victims of the Syrian war.
On announcing the Western re-settlement of the Syrians, United Nations High Commission for Refugees(UNHCR) representative Antonio Guterres, welcomed the solidarity the accepting nations expressed to the Syrians. He said "...one tenth of the Syrian refugees in the region should be re-settled." UNHCR singled out Germany, Sweden, Norway and Australia as a few of the assisting nations. Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt have all come under intense internal pressure because they have accepted the bulk of the refugees of the Syrian war.
Pressure on the infrastructure, the educational systems, water availability, employment and hiring and internal affairs have been strained in these host countries because of the sheer numbers of Syrian refugees they house. These nations have recently started denying access to refugees.
Henceforth, faced with worsening conditions in the Levant, UNHCR and aid agencies Oxfam, Save the Children and the Refugee Council, have urged Western nations to accept more Syrian refugees.
Yet, while 100,000 Syrian refugees will find homes in the West in the next couple of months, hundreds of thousands will have to stay in the region. Andy Baker, Oxfam's head of response to the Syrian crisis, as reported by Reuters, has described as "encouraging" the commitment of the 28-nations to house some refugees.
However, Mr. Baker offered the stark reality that the governments meeting in Geneva "...had the opportunity to transform the lives of some of Syria's most vulnerable refugees - an opportunity they largely failed to take." Oxfam and the other aid agencies would like to see Western nations house at least five percent of the Syrian refugees and to do much more for the millions of victims of Assad's war.
But world nations should not have to be placed in the position of having to accept refugees from the Syrian war for Assad's wrath against his people should be put to an end. One man and his hereditary regime should not be allowed to stand thus transcending instability to so many neighbor nations and overwhelming global humanitarian resources. Wouldn't it be more people and money efficient to get rid of Bashar al Assad?
The continued resettlement of so many people from their homelands infers an acceptance of the state of affairs in the Levant and it relays the message of an open-ended conflict in this our modern era. This must not be established. While capable nations owe all possible assistance to the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people, the international community stands responsible for the ongoing existence of Assad's regime in Damascus - end Assad's reign, end the humanitarian crisis. Here's to reconstruction in the Levant post-Assad!