Statement by UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie on the passing of the 1000th day of the Syrian conflict

Press Releases, 11 December 2013

Each of the last thousand days has been a living nightmare for the Syrian people.

With so much of the country difficult for aid workers and journalists to access and a quarter of a million people stranded in besieged areas, the full story of those 1,000 days has yet to be told. But we do know that over 100,000 Syrians have died. At a minimum, that is equivalent to 100 people being killed each day for 1,000 days. We will look back with shame on this period, and be haunted by our collective failure to prevent this killing of innocents.

This shocking milestone should spur everyone involved in the Geneva peace conference in January to make it a genuine turning point in the conflict: To end the violence and ensure full humanitarian access for Syria's starving and beleaguered people.

With each passing day life gets harder for the millions of Syrian refugees, half of them children. I hope people and governments around the world will feel compassion and a sense of responsibility for them, and provide the increase in aid that is desperately needed.

We cannot turn back the clock for the Syrian people. But we have it in our power, as an international community, to prevent another 1,000 days of bloodshed and suffering.

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UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie returned to Iraq in July 2009 to offer support to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who remain displaced within their own country.

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UNHCR estimates that 1.6 million Iraqis were internally displaced by a wave of sectarian warfare that erupted in February 2006 after the bombing of a mosque in the ancient city of Samarra. Almost 300,000 people have returned to their homes amid a general improvement in the security situation since mid-2008.

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