By: Megan Lane
Today the leaders of five major United Nations organizations came together to say enough is enough with the Syria crisis.
Upon first entering the UNICEF website, the page turns black and asks users to pause, because “for more than two years Syrian children have been suffering with no pause at all.”
The crisis in Syria has resulted in over 70,000 deaths and 5 million people having to leave their homes.
“The heads of the four humanitarian organizations simply felt that they needed to make a clear appeal to stop the Syria crisis,” said Peter Smerdon, spokesperson for UNICEF. “They needed to make it now.”
The “pause” on UNICEF’s website began at midnight eastern standard time and will continue until 11:59 p.m. tonight.
After the pause, a Youtube video plays and talks about the need for a political solution in Syria.
“They feel that there needs to be a political solution,” Smerdon says. “That is up to the people who deal with politics, whether that be the Security Council or individual governments, to get the solution out there.”
Arturo Romboli works with UNICEF’s social media as a communications specialist. He said UNICEF is currently collecting numbers from Facebook and Twitter, and it appears the video has been well received.
“It is forcing people to think about the issue because they cannot click away,” Romboli says.
The video and appeal bring together leaders of five major humanitarian organizations: UNICEF, World Food Programme, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the World Health Organization.
The government of Kuwait also contributed $53 million US to UNICEF today. It is to be used as “an urgently needed lifeline for millions of Syrian children.”