A small girl has become the face of hundreds of thousands of starving, sick, injured and dying Syrians and today she’s lucky to be alive.
Bana Alabed, 7, has been tweeting from war-torn east Aleppo where, as recently as last week, it was reported hundreds of thousands of residents are “days from starvation”.
Winter is coming, but that’s far from the most serious threat facing Bana, her family and those trapped on the outskirts of the city.
A fierce fighting campaign between rebels and government forces is intensifying, claiming civilian lives every day.
On Saturday, her Twitter account – which has 124,000 followers and growing – shared a heartbreaking message as bombs dropped near her home.
Yes it’s horrible to have to see. That’s the point.
On June 26, 2015, as asylum seekers were rushing into Europe in growing numbers, EU leaders met until the wee hours in Brussels. Two countries were bearing the brunt of the crisis – the Mediterranean entry points of Greece and Italy. In what leaders heralded as a remarkable show of “solidarity,” the rest of the EU agreed to share the burden.
The EU would relocate 40,000 refugees – mostly Syrians – to member countries from Portugal to Finland. They would be given shelter, aid and a chance to rebuild their lives. As the number of asylum seekers surged, the EU later boosted its pledge – promising to relocate up to 160,000.
But 16 months after its initial decision, the EU has lived up to only 3.3 percent of that pledge, relocating 5,290 refugees – 4,134 from Greece and 1,156 from Italy. NZ Herald