Statement from Minister Paradis: Canada Stands with International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as they Call for Safe Passage for Humanitarian Workers

November 1, 2013

Canada stands with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, as they call on all parties to the conflict in Syria to respect the work of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and to guarantee the safety of aid workers, who seek to help those in greatest need across Syria.

The situation in Syria has steadily deteriorated over the past year, bringing dire consequences for the people and communities of that country. Canada has repeatedly called on all parties to take immediate steps to facilitate the expansion of humanitarian relief operations and lift impediments.

With at least nine million Syrians affected, half of whom are children, and more than 100,000 casualties, this human tragedy is one of the biggest of this century. It is deplorable that 22 Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers have been killed and many more injured, kidnapped or detained while seeking to help those in need.

Canada continues to believe a political solution is the only way to end this crisis. It calls upon all parties to this conflict to protect Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers, personnel affiliated with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and all other humanitarian personnel as they provide life-saving assistance to millions of people in dire need.

Christian Paradis
Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie