British Red Cross chief executive Sir Nick Young tells the Guardian that the international response to Syria falls well short.
The criticisms of the international response to Syria have been warranted: it has been belated and it has been too little. While we have launched an appeal for Syria, progress has been slow, and we undoubtedly need much more aid and support. Our experience there has confirmed that building capacity must begin before disaster or conflict strikes. It has also confirmed that the Red Cross needs to work much harder at getting our role – as a neutral and impartial actor – fully understood not only among governments and their armies, but among the opposition. This will enable us to have greater impact and reach those that need us. Working there has been extremely dangerous, and we need more support from governments and opinion formers around the world to help reduce the dangers for aid workers.With half of the money pledged disbursed, can countries and organizations turn the tide as refugees continue to pour out? That is a question I hope to answer in the coming days. Suggestions and ideas are welcome.