This letter from International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan appeared in the Telegraph on 25 February 2020:
SIR – Britain is playing a leading role to help victims of violence in Syria (“Speaking from the trenches, the West should be ashamed of its absence in Syria”, February 21).
It is horrific that military action by Russia and the Syrian regime has forced almost a million people – more than half of them children – to flee their homes in Idlib and western Aleppo in under 100 days. Innocent people are living in freezing winter conditions with no shelter. This is a humanitarian catastrophe and it is getting worse.
British aid has provided more than 28 million food rations, 18 million medical check-ups and 12 million vaccines across Syria and the region. We have helped to get more than 140,000 people clean drinking water, and provided psychosocial support for almost 28,000 adults and children.
Britain is also supporting refugees who want to remain in the region. Russia and the Assad regime are trying to thwart our efforts by bombing schools and hospitals, and blocking aid from getting through. We are, however, using our position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to urgently call on them to agree a ceasefire.
It is almost nine years since this conflict began and Britain has been at the forefront of the response since day one. We will not forget the suffering of Syrians; we will not forget the perpetrators; and we will not turn our backs on those in need.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP
International Development Secretary