At the time of writing, the crisis in Syria is more than 39 months old. Since it began in March, 2011 160,000 people have been killed; more than 9.3 million people are in need of aid; 6.5 million people have been forced from their homes inside the country (half of whom are children); and 2.5 people have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.
In March, Valerie Amos, the UN’s humanitarian affairs chief said that “an entire generation of children has been traumatized and brutalized.” That same month, Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN said “today, Syria is at ground zero of the most appalling humanitarian catastrophe of our era.” Others have said it is the worst since the Cold war and that 150 years of humanitarian principles have been eroded.
Why, therefore, do we shrug our collective shoulders about what is happening there? At a recent talk at University College Dublin as part of TEDxUCD 2014, GOAL CEO, Barry Andrews attempted to answer that question.