Save the Children has urged the Australian Government to immediately accept the offer from the United States to facilitate the extraction of Australian women and children from Al Hol camp in north east Syria.
The US has made the offer to all coalition partners, including Australia, urging governments to take responsibility for their citizens.
Director of Policy & International Programs, Mat Tinkler said the Australian Government had run out of excuses and should immediately accept the offer from the US.
“This is a welcome but time limited offer from the United States to the Australian Government,” said Mr Tinkler.
“The Australian Government should take responsibility, immediately accept this offer and bring the Australian women and children home.”
“The offer by the US means that any risk to Australian officials in the Middle East is minimised. Likewise, the strict control orders to which the woman have consented will mitigate any risk to Australians at home.”
“The Australian Government has run out of excuses not to repatriate its citizens.”
More than 60 Australians are languishing in Al Hol camp in north east Syria, including 44 children, the majority of which are under 5 years of age.
“The offer from the US comes as winter threatens the camp and in particular the many malnourished and sick children it shelters,” said Mr Tinkler.
“We know how desperate the situation is in this camp. Children’s lives are at stake.”
“The urgency of the situation cannot be overstated.”
Save the Children staff have been on the ground at Al Hol camp providing winter kits, distributing life-saving food and non-food items, health referrals, basic education services and psychosocial support to help all children recover from the traumatic experiences they have lived through.
For interviews, contact Kimberley Gardiner +61 437 435 777