An Urgent Call for Access in Syria

At the 5th anniversary of the Syrian War, HHI has joined with more than 100 humanitarian agencies calling for immediate and sustained humanitarian access in Syria.  


Joint Statement

As the parties to the conflict in Syria resume talks to end a war that now enters its sixth horrific year, there is renewed hope for peace. For an end to the suffering of millions of the innocent.

Two months ago our organizations appealed for urgent access to all those in desperate need inside Syria: for the lifting of sieges; for the full protection of civilians. Today, there are some encouraging signs of progress. The cessation of hostilities has allowed humanitarian organizations to rush more food and other relief to communities desperate for help.

But access has to go beyond a temporary lifting of sieges and checkpoints and allowing more aid convoys to move.

Humanitarian access and freedom of movement of civilians in Syria has to be sustained. It has to be unconditional. And it should include access to all people in need by whatever routes necessary.

The parties to this conflict and their international sponsors must from now on guarantee

  • Full access for humanitarian and medical workers to assess the wellbeing of civilians in all communities and treat those who are sick and injured without obstacle or restriction.

  • Allowing all humanitarian aid, as required by international humanitarian law, to reach, unimpeded, those who urgently need it – including medical supplies, surgical equipment, and nutritional necessities.

  • Support for an urgently needed nationwide immunization campaign for children.

  • These are practical actions that would mean the difference between life and death. All parties to the conflict can agree on them, now.

And in doing so, they can take another step to peace. Peace for Syria.
The peace that Syrians so desperately deserve.


Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International
Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
Richard Allan Director, C.E.O., The MENTOR Initiative
Steen Andersen, UNICEF Denmark
Nancy A. Aossey, President & CEO, International Medical Corps
Bernt G. Apeland, ED UNICEF Norway
Dr. Mahmoud Aswad, Syrian Expatriate Medical Association
Stephan Bauman’s President of World Relief
Dr. Gudrun Berger, Executive Director, UNICEF Austria
Tomaž Bergoč, Executive Director, Slovenska fundacija za UNICEF Big Heart Foundation
Rod Brooks, President and CEO, Stop Hunger Now
David Bull, Unicef UK
Nan Buzard Executive Director, ICVA
Teresa Casale, Global Communities
Jonny Cline, Executive Director, UNICEF Israel
Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Program
Fadi Al-Dairi, Country Director, Hand in Hand for Syria
Elisabeth Dahlin, Secretary General, Save the Children Sweden
Defence for Children International
Shukria Dellawar, Women Thrive Worldwide
Hisham Dirani, BINAA
Jan Egeland, Secretary General, Norwegian Refugee Council
Danks Emese, Executive Director, UNICEF Magyar
Patricia Erb, President and CEO, Save the Children Canada
Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO of Heifer International
Amy Fong, Save the Children Hong Kong
Meg Gardinier, Secretary General, ChildFund Alliance
Mark Goldring, Chief Executive, Oxfam GB and on behalf of Oxfam International
Pavla Gomba, Výkonná ředitelka, UNICEF ČR
Madalena Marçal Grilo, Executive Director, Comité Português para a UNICEF
Daryl Grisgraber, Refugees International
Neal Keny-Guyer, President/CEO, Mercy Corp
Ken Hayami, Executive Director, Japan Committee for UNICEF
Headwaters Relief Organisation
Abdullah Hanoun, Syrian Community of the South West UK
Dirk Hegmanns, Regional Director Turkey/Syria/Iraq, Welthungerhilfe
Rolla Hinedi, Syria Relief Turkey
International Disability Alliance
Islamic Relief Worldwide
W. Douglas Jackson, President/CEO, PROJECT C.U.R.E
Kevin Jenkins, President, World Vision
Bergsteinn Jónsson, Executive Director, UNICEF Iceland
Mohannad Kanawati, Khayr Charity
Helen Keller
Thomas G. Kemper, General Secretary General, Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church
Marja-Ritta Ketola, CEO, UNICEF Finland
Peter Klansoe, Regional Director, Danish Refugee Council
Pim Kraan, Chief Executive, Save the Children Netherlands
Marek Krupiński and Krzysztof Socha, Polish National Committee for UNICEF
Dr. Hans Kuenzle Chair of the Board of the Swiss Committee for UNICEF
Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF
Jane Lau, Chief Executive, Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF
Ilias Liberis, Executive Director, Hellenic National Committee for UNICEF
Jonas Keiding Lindholm, Generalsekretær / CEO, Red Barnet / Save the Children Denmark
John Lyon, President, CEO, World Hope International
Eleanor McClelland, People in Need
Vivien Maidaborn, CEO, UNICEF NZ
Ennio Miccoli Director COOPI – Cooperazione Internazionale
Carolyn Miles, President & CEO, Save the Children USA
David Milliband, International Rescue Committee
Juraj Mišura and Giorgio Dovogi Slovak Committee for UNICEF
James Mitchum Chief Executive Officer, Heart to Heart International
Othman Moqbel , Chief Executive, Human Appeal International
David Morley, President and CEO, UNICEF Canada
John Nduna, General Secretary, ACT Alliance
Niall O’Keeffe, Head of Region, Middle East & Asia, Trócaire
William O’Keefe, Catholic Relief Services
Babatunde Osotimenhin, Executive Director, UNFPA
Ignacio Packer, Secretary General,Terre Des Hommes International Federation
Ahmad Faizal Perdaus, MERCY Malaysia
Peter Power, UNICEF Ireland
Erna Reynisdóttir, CEO, Barnaheill – Save the Children á Íslandi
Curt Rhodes International Director, Questscope
Michel Roy, Secretary-General, Caritas Internationalis
Paolo Rozera, Executive Director, UNICEF Italian National Committee
Christian Schneider, German Committee for UNICEF
Kunio Senga, Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children, Japan
Martin Shupack, Church World Service
Baraa Al-Smoudi, Ihsan RD
Janti Soeripto, Save the Children International
SOS Children’s Villages International
Tanya Steele, Interim Chief Executive of Save the Children UK
Caryl M. Stern President and CEO, US Fund for UNICEF
John Stewart, President, Australian Committee for UNICEF
Dae Won Suh, Executive Director, KCU
William Lacy Swing Director General IOM
Syria Relief and Development
Ghaith Taraben, Head of Mission, Turkey, Qatar Red Crescent
Amro Tarrisi, Violet Organization
Marta Alberch Terres, Directora, Unicef Comitè d’Andorra
Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit , General Secretary, World Council of Churches
Joan Timoney, Women’s Refugee Commission
United Muslim Relief
Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General, Religions for Peace
Damien Vincent, UNICEF Belgium
Sandra Visscher, Executive Director UNICEF-Luxembourg
Jan Bouke Wijbrandi, Dutch National Committee for UNICEF
Nancy E. Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Relief International
Tove R. Wang, CEO, Save the Children Norway
Samuel A. Worthington, CEO, InterAction
Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
Mohammad Zia-ur-Rehman, Chief Executive, Awaz Foundation Pakistan



Joint Statement: An appeal to end the suffering in Syria

More than 120 humanitarian organizations and United Nations agencies issued a joint appeal on January 21, 2016 urging the world to raise their voices and call for an end to the Syria crisis and to the suffering endured by millions of civilians. The appeal also outlines a series of immediate, practical steps that can improve humanitarian access and the delivery of aid to those in need inside Syria. You are invited to “sign” the appeal simply by liking, sharing, and retweeting it.


syrian children

Three years ago, the leaders of UN humanitarian agencies issued an urgent appeal to those who could end the conflict in Syria. They called for every effort to save the Syrian people. “Enough”, they said, of the suffering and bloodshed.

That was three years ago.

Now, the war is approaching its sixth brutal year. The bloodshed continues. The suffering deepens.

So today, we — leaders of humanitarian organisations and UN agencies — appeal not only to governments but to each of you — citizens around the world — to add your voices in urging an end to the carnage. To urge that all parties reach agreement on a ceasefire and a path to peace.

More than ever before, the world needs to hear a collective public voice calling for an end to this outrage. Because this conflict and its consequences touch us all.

It touches those in Syria who have lost loved ones and livelihoods, who have been uprooted from their homes, or who live in desperation under siege. Today, some 13.5 million people inside Syria need humanitarian assistance. That is not simply a statistic. These are 13.5 million individual human beings whose lives and futures are in jeopardy.

It touches the families who, with few options for a better future, set out on perilous journeys to foreign lands in search of refuge. The war has seen 4.6 million people flee to neighbouring countries and beyond.

It touches a generation of children and young people who — deprived of education and traumatized by the horrors they have experienced — increasingly see their future shaped only by violence.

It touches those far beyond Syria who have seen the violent repercussions of the crisis reach the streets, offices and restaurants closer to their homes.

And it touches all those around the world whose economic wellbeing is affected, in ways visible and invisible, by the conflict.

Those with the ability to stop the suffering can — and therefore should — take action now. Until there is a diplomatic solution to the fighting, such action should include:

  • Unimpeded and sustained access for humanitarian organizations to bring immediate relief to all those in need inside Syria
  • Humanitarian pauses and unconditional, monitored ceasefires to allow food and other urgent assistance to be delivered to civilians, vaccinations and other health campaigns, and for children to return to school
  • A cessation of attacks on civilian infrastructure — so that schools and hospitals and water supplies are kept safe
  • Freedom of movement for all civilians and the immediate lifting of all sieges by all parties

These are practical actions. There is no practical reason they could not be implemented if there is the will to do so.

In the name of our shared humanity… for the sake of the millions of innocents who have already suffered so much… and for the millions more whose lives and futures hang in the balance, we call for action now.


21 January 2016

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Chairperson, BRAC, Bangladesh
Zairulshahfuddin bin Zainal Abidin, Country Director, Islamic Relief Malaysia
Ryoko Akamatsu, Chairperson, Japan Committee for UNICEF
Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International
Richard Allen, CEO, Mentor Initiative
Dr. Haytham Alhamwi, Director, Rethink Rebuild
Steen M. Andersen, Executive Director, Danish Committee for UNICEF
Barry Andrews, CEO, GOAL Ireland
Nancy A. Aossey, President and CEO, International Medical Corp
Bernt G. Apeland, Executive Director, Norwegian Committee for UNICEF
Dr. Mohamed Ashmawey, CEO, Islamic Relief Worldwide
Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, CEO, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Lina Sergie Attar, co-founder and CEO, Karam Foundation
Carmelo Angulo Barturen, President, Spanish Committee for UNICEF
Gudrun Berger, Executive Director, Austrian Committee for UNICEF
Tomaž Bergoč, Executive Director, Slovenian Foundation for UNICEF
David Bull, Executive Director, United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF
Marie-Pierre Caley, CEO, ACTED
Adriano Campolina, Chief Executive, Actionaid
CARE Netherlands
Tineke Ceelen, Director, Stichting Vluchteling, Netherlands
Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization
Jonny Cline, Executive Director, The Israeli Fund for UNICEF
Sarah Costa, Executive Director, Women’s Refugee Commission
Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, World Food Programme
Emese Danks, Executive Director, UNICEF Hungarian Committee Foundation
Maryanne Diamond, Chair, International Disability Alliance
Hisham Dirani, CEO, BINAA Organization for Development
Edukans, Netherlands
Jan Egeland, Secretary-General, Norwegian Refugee Council
Patricia Erb, President and CEO, Save the Children Canada
Sanem Bilgin Erkurt, Executive Director, Turkish National Committee for UNICEF
Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO, Heifer International
Amy Fong, Chief Executive, Save the Children Hong Kong
Justin Forsyth, CEO, Save the Children UK
Michel Gabaudan, President, Refugees International
Meg Gardinier, Secretary General, ChildFund Alliance
Global Call to Action against Poverty
Mark Goldring, Chief Executive, Oxfam Great Britain
Pavla Gomba, Executive Director, Czech Committee for UNICEF
Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Madalena Grilo, Executive Director, Portuguese Committee for UNICEF
Noreen Gumbo, Head of Humanitarian Programmes, Trócaire
Handicap International, Belgium
Abdullah Hanoun, CEO, Syrian Community of the South West UK
Heather Hayden, Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children New Zealand
Dr. Dirk Hegmanns, Regional Director Turkey/Syria/Iraq, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe
Anne-Marie Helland, General Secretary, Norwegian Church Aid
Anne Hery, Director for Advocacy and Institutional Relations, Handicap International
International Organization for Migration, Netherlands
W. Douglas Jackson, President and CEO, PROJECT C.U.R.E.
Wolfgang Jamann, Secretary General, Care International
Kevin Jenkins, President and CEO, World Vision International
Bergsteinn Jónsson, Executive Director, Icelandic National Committee for UNICEF
Benoit Van Keirsbilck, Director, DEI-Belgique
Thomas G. Kemper, General Secretary, General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church
Neal Keny-Guyer, Chief Executive Officer, Mercy Corps
Kerk in Actie, Netherlands Marja-Riitta Ketola, Executive Director, Finnish Committee for UNICEF
Peter Klansoe, Regional Director, Danish Refugee Council, Middle East North Africa region
Pim Kraan, Director, Save the Children Netherlands
Marek Krupiński, Executive Director, Polish National Committee for UNICEF
Dr. Hans Kuenzle, Chair, Swiss Committee for UNICEF
Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF
Jane Lau, Chief Executive, Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF
Lavinia Limón, President and CEO, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Jonas Keiding Lindholm, CEO Save the Children Denmark
Rosa G. Lizarde, Global Director, Feminist Task Force
Olivier Longue, CEO, Accion Contra el Hambre
John Lyon, President, World Hope International
Sébastien Lyon, Executive Director, French Committee for UNICEF
Dominic MacSorley, Chief Executive Officer, Concern Worldwide
Dirk Van Maele, Director, Plan België
Cécil Van Maelsaeke, Director, Tearfund, Belgium
Vivien Maidaborn, Executive Director, The New Zealand National Committee for UNICEF
Blanca Palau Mallol, President, Andorran Committee for UNICEF
Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO, Church World Service
Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children USA
David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee
Mr. Juraj Mišura, President, Slovak Committee for UNICEF
James Mitchum, Chief Executive Officer, Heart to Heart International
David Morley, President and CEO, Canadian UNICEF Committee
John Nduna, General Secretary, ACT Alliance Stephen
O’Brien, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund
Ignacio Packer, Secretary-General, Terre des Hommes International Federation
People in Need
Dato Dr Ahmad Faizal Perdaus, President, Mercy Malaysia
Plan, Norway
Peter Power, Executive Director, UNICEF Ireland
Sarina Prabasi, Chief Executive Officer, WaterAid America
Chris Proulx, President and CEO, LINGOS, United States
Dr. Jihad Qaddour, President, Syria Relief and Development
Red Cross, Netherlands
Curtis N. Rhodes Jr., International Director, Questscope
Michel Roy, Secretary General, Caritas International
Paolo Rozera, Executive Director, Italian Committee for UNICEF
Dr. Tessie San Martin, President and CEO, Plan International USA
Christian Schneider, Executive Director, German Committee for UNICEF
Rev. Thomas H. Smolich, S.J. International Director, Jesuit Refugee Service
Janti Soeripto, Interim CEO, Save the Children, International
SOS Kinderdorpen, Netherlands
Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO, United States Fund for UNICEF
Marie Soueid, Policy Counsel, Center for Victims of Torture
John Stewart, President, Australian Committee for UNICEF
Limited Odd Swarting, Chair, Swedish Committee for UNICEF
William L. Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration
Florence Syevuo, Global Call to Action against Poverty, Kenya
Daigo Takagi, Association for Aid and Relief, Japan
Tearfund, UK
Terre des Hommes International Federation
Constantine M. Triantafilou, Executive Director and CEO, International Orthodox Christian Charities
Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches
Monique van ‘t Hek, Director, Plan Nederland
Dr. William Vendley, Secretary General, Religions for Peace
Pierre Verbeeren, Director, Medecins du Monde, Belgium
Damien Vincent, Executive Director, Belgium Committee for UNICEF
Sandra Visscher, Executive Director, Luxembourg Committee for UNICEF
Vrouwen tegen Uitzetting, Netherlands
Tove Wang, CEO, Save the Children Norway
David A. Weiss, President and CEO, Global Communities
Kathrin Wieland, CEO, Save the Children Germany
Jan Bouke Wijbrandi, Executive Director, Dutch Committee for UNICEF
Nancy E. Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Relief International
Carolyn Woo, President and CEO, Catholic Relief Services
Daniel Wordsworth, President and CEO, American Refugee Committee
Samuel A. Worthington, CEO, InterAction
Leila Zerrougui, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
Mohammad Zia-ur-Rehman, Chief Executive, AwazCDS and Pakistan Development Alliance


European Refugee Crisis: HHI in Croatia

Refugee Family

An aid worker helps a refugee mother and child pick some donated clothing items in a refugee camp in Croatia.


UPDATE: HHI continues to provide aid for thousands of refugees in Europe.  In January 2016, HHI  shipped 10,000 blankets to camps in Serbia.  Several thousand more, along with more aid and supplies, will be sent soon.


Sept. 2015 – HHI responded to the refugee crisis unfolding in Europe.  An initial shipment of aid went to Greece and HHI placed a team on the ground in Croatia, working with relief agencies and partner orgs to coordinate delivering more aid.

Our team visited temporary camps erected along the Croatia/Serbian border, reporting back that although refugees rotate through every 24-36 hours the camps are overflowing capacity.

Support HHI & Global Refugee Aid

Most of the refugees they encountered are coming from places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.  They’ve made their way from these war-torn regions into Greece, then up into Serbia and then cross over into Croatia for processing, before moving on further into Europe.

Refugee Processing

Refugees await processing in large tents in a camp along the Croatia/Serbia border.


Relief Aid Shipped

So far, HHI has sent a shipment of 9,000 HHI Care Kits to help with this crisis.  The aid is en route to Greece and the International Medical Corps which will distribute the hygiene kits to refugees there.  Watch the video to see the first shipment being loaded onto a FedEx truck at our Operations Hub.


You can help with this relief effort. Please donate now.

Support Global Refugee Aid