Syrian regime bombs hospital on World Humanitarian Day

The Britain-based Syrian Network for Human Rights says the last hospital in the Syrian city of Daraya was rendered inoperable following Syrian regime attacks on World Humanitarian Day.

Courtesy of: Syrian Network for Human Rights
Courtesy of: Syrian Network for Human Rights

Picture shows aftermath of the bombing of the last hospital in Daraya.

Updated Aug 20, 2016

As world relief agencies observed World Humanitarian Day on Friday, the last hospital operating in Daraya was bombed by the Syrian regime.

The Britain-based Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said barrel bombs dropped by Syrian regime helicopters rendered the makeshift hospital, located 8 kilometres south-west of the centre of Damascus, inoperable.

The latest bombing highlights the grave challenges faced by relief agencies which are desperately trying to cope with humanitarian crises in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the world.

These agencies have marked World Humanitarian Day under the auspices of the United Nations every year since 2009 to attract global attention to the plight of the millions of civilians affected by wars and conflicts around the globe.

According to the UN, currently 130 million people are dependent on humanitarian assistance. However, the job of the relief agencies is getting more difficult with each passing day as they face tremendous dangers from suicide bombing to missile attacks while trying to provide aid to those in need. 

Hospitals in war zones vital in providing care for heavily injured or traumatised people have also been targeted. The lives of thousands of health workers in Syria, Yemen and Iraq are at risk amid conflict. In the last ten years, 1,072 aid workers have been killed carrying out their duties.

Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) says local communities in Syria are refusing aid agencies permission to open new hospitals out of fear the facilities will lead to more bombings, and is backing off from plans to set up at least five field hospitals in opposition-held areas in the country.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said it was evacuating its staff from six hospitals in northern Yemen on Thursday after a Saudi-led coalition air strike hit a health facility operated by the medical aid group, killing 19 people.

Acknowledging the sacrifices rendered by the aid workers, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said World Humanitarian Day "is an occasion to honour the humanitarian workers and volunteers toiling on the frontlines of crises." 

"There are things we can all do – today, and every day," the UN chief said.  

"We can show compassion, we can raise our voices against injustice, and we can work for change."

The first ever World Humanitarian Summit was held in Istanbul in May, where governments, humanitarian organisations, and businesses were invited to assist in developing a more effective and accessible humanitarian aid system that would help alleviate suffering affecting a record number of people throughout the world.

TRTWorld and agencies