Our thoughts on the Nobel nomination
We want to sincerely thank you for your congratulations upon the nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. We continue to believe in the power in civic activism, and hope that you do too. There are a few things we wish to highlight at this point.
The war and suffering in Syria are still continuing.
Over half a million people have died in the conflict in Syria since its outbreak in 2011. In 2018 alone, over 4,000 civilians have been killed due to the prevailing violence. Over 5.6 million people have fled Syria since 2011, seeking safety in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and beyond. The humanitarian impact of the Syria crisis remains deep and far-reaching, with the population exposed to significant protection risks. As per the 2018 HNO some 13.1 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, of whom 5.6 million are in acute need due to a convergence of vulnerabilities resulting from exposure to hostilities, limited access to basic goods and services as well as mass displacement, often affecting people multiples times. These new mass displacements are in addition to protracted displacement as well as deteriorating coping mechanisms and resilience in Syria. During the first quarter of 2018, the humanitarian situation for many civilians in Syria has further deteriorated, with a convergence of crises resulting in mass displacement and acute needs across multiple areas of the country, particularly northwest Syria, Afrin and East Ghouta, requiring humanitarian actors to scale-up their response. At the same time, large-scale spontaneous returns of IDPs to Ar-Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zor cities continue despite the extensive risks presented by explosive hazard contamination. Against this backdrop of increasing needs, and despite persistent challenges related to access, operational capacity and funding levels, humanitarian actors continue to prioritize the delivery of assistance and provision of services to those people facing the most severe needs. As of the 15 April 2018 the humanitarian response in Syria was only 14.6 percent funded (as per reported funding on FTS), with many humanitarian organizations reporting a rapid depletion of stocks and disruption to supply pipelines in the absence of required funding.
The Civil March believes that others are more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The march was meant as a one-time only action. The nomination itself proved that grassroots activism is powerful, and that citizens are powerful. While we do feel very honoured by the nomination, we also believe that there are other, more worthy organisations and initiatives, who could also better deal with such a prize. The structures that allowed organising the march, to manage its finances and legal necessities are not sufficient to handle something that is the size of a Nobel prize. We hope the Nobel committee will grant it to one of the other nominated initiatives that have done long-standing work for peace of global significance and that can also use the award to sustain their activities. For us, this would be the greatest outcome of the award decision, as we wish for peace activism to continue, even if our march already ended.
There are many great initiatives
… that are working to help Syrian refugees and to document the atrocities of the Syrian civil war. We hope you will show them the support you showed us, with either donations or through volunteering for them, as their efforts strive for the same goals the Civil March for Aleppo did. We ask you to stay alert and to continue to follow what is happening in Syria. Appeal to your country’s leaders to stop the war and suffering of civilians.
We ask you to support the following initiatives and organisations:
- White Helmets in Syria
- Syrian Network for Human Rights
- SOS Mediterranee
- Mosaik Support Center in Lesvos
- Pikpa Camp on Lesvos Island
- Alphabet For Alternative Education
- Zeltschule e.V.
- Hurras Network
Picture credit: Janusz Ratecki