​Participants at a candlelight vigil on 14 March
at Federation Square, commemorating the
third anniversary of the civil war in Syria.

​Hundreds of people gathered in Melbourne's Federation Square on 14 March for a candlelight vigil as part of a worldwide event commemorating the third anniversary of the civil war and humanitarian crisis in Syria.

The event, hosted by a number of aid agencies and faith-based groups, highlighted the plight of children in Syria and the need for a peaceful solution to the devastating conflict there.

Anthea Spinks, Head of Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs for World Vision Australia, said it was important to bring the Australian community together and highlight the fact the conflict has been going on for three years, impacting the lives of more than 9.5 million people, of which 5.5 million are children.

“We know that there have been at least a hundred thousand deaths, but the figures are very difficult to ascertain,” she said. “What we need is a political and a peaceful settlement, but as a global community we need to act now in terms of immediate humanitarian assistance.”

Ben Fraser, programs manager at Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, said the vigil was about raising awareness amongst the public, but also about telling Australians in leadership that Australia needs to do more. “We really need to support the Syrian people because this is the worst conflict of the 21st century,” he said.

Watch a short video about the vigil below, or visit http://youtu.be/iXJQU0Q9YzE



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