In some parts of Syria, children are playing outside for the first time in months.
Doctors and emergency workers finally have a chance to rest.
Even so, people hold their breath.
Violence has declined significantly since a “cessation of hostilities” went into effect on February 27.
According to an article on CNN.com, “A cessation of hostilities implies a temporary halt in fighting, it is usually nonbinding and commonly happens at the start of a peace process.” It calls the Syrian regime and opposition fighters to stop fighting, allow humanitarian aid workers to pass through their territories, and begin working toward peace.
But no one knows if it will hold.
While the West has focused on the future of 4.5 million Syrian refugees, about 12 million Syrians still remain in country. Since the war began in 2011, most of those who could leave Syria have left.
Those still in the country are the most vulnerable segments of the population – the elderly, the handicapped, families with small children, and those who simply couldn’t make the trek to safer land. For many of these, their daily reality has been like a nightmare that won’t end.
Anywhere from 1 million to 4.5 million people currently live under some degree of siege. Supply lines have been cut. A combination of militants, barbed wire and landmines surround many areas, especially urban centers and their suburbs.
To put it simply, humans can’t get out and help can’t get in.
Consider what this means. Food and medicine have run out or will run out soon. In one besieged town of 42,000 people, the residents have attempted to survive on spiced water and tree leaves. Across the country, many have already starved. Even in neighborhoods thus far unaffected by the worst parts of war, there is the constant knowledge that, at any moment, shelling might begin.
But with the cessation of hostilities now in effect, fear is fading away and aid is trickling through. Peace talks continue.
People in the region wonder, Has the storm finally passed, or is this soothing breeze merely the eye of a storm still raging? Worse, is this the calm before a storm that’s still amassing?
No one knows, but everyone agrees – considering that Syria’s infrastructure has already crumbled – that many of the markets are already bare.
The young, old and handicapped are already surviving without essential food and medicine, and a resurgence of the war will mean precious hope was tasted and then snatched away.
The oppression of this storm has been heavy, dark and unrelenting for Syrians still inside their home country. Please pray with us. Pray this cessation of hostilities will bring lasting peace.
Global Aid Network has been bringing hope and help to Syria since the war began. You can join them in praying for the Middle East, for refugees and for those working in challenging areas.
Other ways to help:
- Join GAiN at a packing event
- Go on a mission trip with GAiN
- 4 Things You Can Do To Help Refugees In Syria
- What Your Response to Syria Says About You
- A Radical Call To Pray for ISIS
Re-posted from Global Aid Network. http://www.gainusa.org/2016/03/08/frontline-brief-syria-refugees-storm-passing-or-amassing/