What we need to remember on the fifth anniversary of the Syrian war

Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the start of the Syrian war. Since March 15, 2011, more than 4 million people have fled Syria to escape war and violence, while millions more have been internally displaced.

Todayas representatives of the government and opposition groups convene in Geneva for a new round of peace talks and countries continue to grapple with the influx of refugeesit’s crucial to remember that we must address the heart of the crisis in Syria.

“The most important solution for dealing with the displacement crisis is not to deal with it as a charity issue—neither by bringing them to the U.S. or other countries nor by helping them to stay as refugees and displaced people,” said Raed Jarrar, AFSC’s government relations manager during an online discussion in January. “The most important thing is to address the root causes of displacement so that people will go back to their homes. That is an important mindset.”

For more, watch a recap of the full discussion, featuring Raed and AFSC's Giovanna Negretti, Middle East regional director, and Layla Razavi, director of Human Migration and Mobility.