UN humanitarian leaders urge the Security Council to extend assistance to Syria
The heads of the United Nations humanitarian organizations called on the Security Council to extend the resolution on cross-border aid operations carried out by the international organization across the border into northwestern Syria without delay.
Joint statement signed by the heads of the United Nations Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Program (WFP), World Health Organization (WHO), UNFPA. UNFPA and UNHCR highlighted the importance of humanitarian assistance, noting that the lives of 4.1 million people are at stake.
“Without UN cross-border operations, millions of people, especially those who have been displaced for years and many times over, would not have access to food and shelter; to help deal with harsh winter conditions; to the surveillance, treatment and testing capacities needed to contain cholera; to safe drinking water and protection from violence.” based on gender.”
The statement said the United Nations is determined to maintain and expand aid delivery, and calls on all stakeholders to ensure unimpeded, sustainable and predictable access to northwest Syria from regime-held areas.
“Unlike previous resolutions that extended cross-border operations by 12 months, the latest action by the Council only granted a six-month mandate. This has created additional logistical and operational challenges, increased operational costs, and reduced the ability of humanitarian partners to assist those in need.” “The millions of people who depend on a cross-border lifeline for survival need this ‘resolution,’ renewed without delay,” the statement reads.
The Council requested a report from the Secretary-General on the humanitarian needs of Syria in a July resolution that extended the delivery of food, medicine and other much-needed aid through the Bab al-Hawa crossing from Turkey into northwest Idlib for six months, until January 3. 10.
Russia has sought to reduce cross-border aid to eliminate it.
In July 2020, China and Russia vetoed a UN resolution that would have kept two border crossing points from Turkey to deliver humanitarian aid to northwest Idlib. Days later, aid delivery to the Bab al-Hawa crossing was reduced only to a year, as they demanded.
In July 2021, Russia pushed for further reductions, finally agreeing to a six-month extension with a further six months conditional on a report from the Secretary-General on progress on cross-line deliveries. But in July this year, Russia only insisted on a six-month permit from the United Nations.
António Guterres fervently pleaded for the door of fancy to remain open for UN assistance, warning that “halting cross-border deliveries amid the winter months would leave millions of Syrians without the assistance needed to endure the harsh weather.”