“Although I had thought that my personal list of heroes was complete, you forced me to make space for one more, or more accurately, a whole room full of heroes.” – Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the U.N.
SAMS has become a leader in advocacy and engagement with policymakers on both the national and international stages. SAMS effectively advocates increasing political will around taking action to end the Syrian crisis. Our advocacy ensures that instances of attacks on healthcare facilities, challenges of communities under siege, and the heroic work of Syrian medical workers reach policymakers, think tanks, the media, and the public. SAMS strives to echo and raise the voice of our colleagues on the ground who continue to risk their safety to save lives and alleviate suffering.
We advocate for:
- Protection of hospitals, healthcare workers, civilians, and civilian infrastructure
- Ending the siege of over 1 million people in Syria and the provision of humanitarian access to trapped civilians
- Increasing involvement of Syrian NGOs in decision-making and leadership capacities in the Whole of Syria response
- Support for Syrian refugees and host communities both in the United States and abroad
How we advocate:
- Meetings with policymakers and civil society leaders
- Public awareness events
- Reports and policy papers
- Online campaigns and grassroots engagement
- Engaging with partners and coalitions to amplify our voice
Take a look at some of our previous advocacy work:
- UN Security Council Arria-Formula Meeting on Chemical Attacks in Syria
- UN Security Council Arria-Formula Meeting on Humanitarian & Medical Crises in Aleppo
- Ban Ki Moon Attends Syrian NGO Session at World Humanitarian Summit
- SAMS & Syrian NGOs host “Protect Hospitals & Health Workers in Syria” sit-in and conference in Geneva, Switzerland
- Die-In to #DefendDoctors in Syria
- Advocacy Day 2015
- On September 23, 2016, SAMS’s President, Dr. Ahmad Tarakji testified before members of Congress during a hearing held by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on the current humanitarian crisis in Syria. Dr. Tarakji called for the protection of our humanitarian values when dealing with the crisis in Syria, and not subjecting those values to political negotiations. Watch Dr. Tarakji’s remarks below.
- #WithSyria Campaign: In 2014, SAMS joined with over 130 other NGOs to lead the #WithSyria campaign, urging world leaders to make clear that they are on the side of civilians in Syria. More information here.
- Medics Under Fire: In April 2015, in partnership with The Syria Campaign, SAMS launched Medics Under Fire Campaign calling for doctors, health workers, and medical students across the world to stand with Syrian medical workers. More information here.
- #AleppoisBurning: In 2016, SAMS launched a campaign to raise awareness and funds of the humanitarian crisis in besieged Aleppo. As of October 2016, only five hospitals were operational in besieged Aleppo to care for a population of 300,000 civilians, including more than 85,000 children. There remained only 29 doctors to treat the overwhelming number of wounded. More information here.
- Save East Ghouta: In the summer of 2017, SAMS launched a campaign, raising awareness of the dire humanitarian situation in besieged East Ghouta. By 2017, nearly 400,000 civilians were besieged in the area, including more than 130,000 children. Since 2012, civilians have faced frequent aerial attacks and shelling on hospitals, marketplaces, schools, and other civilian areas. More information here.
- Throughout the year, SAMS organizes and participates in international meetings that seek to build a consensus among the different local, regional, and international stakeholders engaged in the medical relief and recovery in and around war-torn Syria.
- World Humanitarian Summit – May 2016 On May 24 at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, SAMS co-led a side event along with the Syrian Relief Network, Syria Relief and Development, Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM), and Sawa for Development and Aid. Additionally, the SAMS Former Foundation Chair, Dr. Majd Isreb, presented our core commitments at a high-level roundtable session at the summit. More information here.
- From Medical Relief to Resilience and Recovery in the Syrian Crisis- March 2016: In partnership with Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Qatar Red Crescent (QRC), Syrian Expatriate Medical Association (SEMA), Physicians Across the Continent (PAC), Sham Relief, and Siraj, SAMS hosted its first international meeting under the theme: “Transitioning from Medical Relief to Resilience and Recovery in the Syrian Crisis” in Doha, Qatar on March 23- 25.