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Christian charity urges the world not to forget Syria

The charity have released a new report highlighting the development work of Syrian civil society organisations and are calling for worldwide support and funding to be maintained.

The Syrian Civil War has seen the country's people in conflict since March 2011. Hundreds of thousands have been killed and 630,000 people have fled the violence and remain displaced.

Syrian NGOs have been working to provide human rights, community development, and humanitarian aid across Syria over the past eight years, but are under increasing threat of being shut down by the government.

Christian Aid are calling for peace-makers and activists, who are committed to the rebuilding of their country, to be prioritised.

Máiréad Collins is Christian Aid's Senior Advocacy Adviser for Syria, Iraq and Lebanon and the report's author.

Speaking to Premier, she urged the international community "not to walk away" from the civil society movement that has developed in Syria and to "continue to fund them."

She said: "In terms of the future of Syria, we really feel that the hope lies with Syrian Civil Society to ensure a sustained peace and a democratic future."

"In order to fight to have a free and open civil society" she said, "is not something that can be done in one year or two years, it's a long term goal and a long term struggle."

She went on to say that a crisis can unfortunately become overlooked as other problems arise internationally, but argued that it's important to standing for a democratic civil society.

"When we talk about a civil society being repressed in one country, we have to consider what the impact that is not only within the region, but globally.

"If we believe that a free and independent and democratic civil society is important, then we should want to support that no matter where it is, because that sets the precedent elsewhere."

She said the Church have a responsibility to stand with Syrian civil society and to use its voice to promote the need for an "independent, democratic and pluralistic civil society."

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