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Statement from Oxfam America President Raymond Offenheiser on Iraq crisis:
“Any US intervention in Iraq must prioritize the safety and security of civilians and observe international humanitarian law. The Obama Administration must focus on finding ways to protect Syrian and Iraqi civilians from all forms of violence and provide appropriate humanitarian assistance to those in need throughout the region.
“The situation in Iraq is closely tied to the ongoing conflict in neighboring Syria, where millions of people remain in need of humanitarian assistance. More than 200,000 Syrians have sought refuge in Iraq, yet aid agencies have less than 20 percent of the funds they need to provide them with life-saving aid. Now, with the current crisis and mass displacement, humanitarian needs are only increasing.
“The Obama administration should be redoubling its diplomatic engagement to resolve the crisis in Syria and throughout the region. This must include pressing for the swift appointment of a new UN Special Envoy to work closely with countries in the region, halt arms flows that continue to fuel violations by both sides, and resume the peace process.
“With many tens of thousands of Syrian lives already lost and millions more displaced inside Syria and living as refugees throughout the region, the Syrian people cannot afford for the international community to lose focus.”