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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Syria - Ukraine

24 Jun 2020


Khair Al-Sham camp, Idleb, Syria, 13 March 2020. Credit: OCHA

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 24 June 2020

Syria: Cross-border update

The UN continues to reach millions of women, children and men in urgent need of humanitarian assistance through its cross-border operations out of Turkey.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 8,000 trucks have crossed into Syria from Turkey, including a record 1,781 trucks in May.

Large numbers of trucks continue to cross. As of 21 June, 1,292 trucks passed into north-west Syria from Turkey this month, providing vital life-saving assistance for the 2.8 million people in need in the area.

As highlighted in the Secretary-General’s recent review of cross-line and cross-border operations (S/2020/401), sustained, large-scale cross-border response is necessary to meet the enormous humanitarian needs of people in north-west Syria.

To enable this response, a renewal of the cross-border authorization in UN Security Council resolution 2504 (2020) for the use of Bab al Salaam and Bab Al Hawa border crossings for an additional 12 months is required. There are no alternatives to cross-border operations.

The Secretary-General has also called for a combination of more cross-border and cross-line access to sustain recent levels of, and preferably increase, humanitarian assistance in the north-east.

Without the necessary cross-border authorizations by the Security Council, civilian suffering will increase to levels unseen in nine years of conflict, including loss of life at a mass scale.

The full and complementary use of all methods for the delivery of aid remains necessary to access all people across Syria.

Syria: COVID-19 response update

The UN remains concerned over the impact of COVID-19 on people across Syria.

To date, the Syrian Ministry of Health has confirmed 231 COVID-19 cases, including 94 recoveries and 7 deaths.

Six additional cases have been recorded in the north-east, including one fatality. No cases have been confirmed in the north-west.

The UN is particularly concerned for the 1.4 million people who are displaced and living in camps or informal settlements that makes taking necessary precautions more difficult. With limited access to health care and water and sanitation services, these people are particularly vulnerable.

The UN is also concerned about the impact that the precautionary measures to defend against COVID-19 are having on an economic situation looks increasingly dire, and where food insecurity is rising.

It remains a UN priority to support increased testing in all governorates in Syria. Building up the country’s limited laboratory and case investigation capacities remains a major priority, and the United Nations is reinforcing this effort across Syria.

Ukraine: COVID-19 response

As of today, there are 39,014 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ukraine, with 1,051 deaths in the country.  

Yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) delivered 1 million units of personal protective equipment (PPE), including medical masks, respirators, gowns, face shields and goggles. The shipment, funded by the European Union (EU) and procured by WHO in cooperation with the rest of the UN system, seeks to support health-care workers fighting COVID-19 with supplies for 50 front-line hospitals across all regions of Ukraine for a minimum of one month at full capacity.

In eastern Ukraine, the UN and humanitarian partners continue the provision of life-saving assistance and protection to the most vulnerable people, while using existing resources to also respond to COVID-19-related needs.

Needs in conflict-affected eastern Ukraine increased from 3.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance requiring $158 million at the beginning of 2020 to almost 3.8 million people requiring $205 million by June 2020. To date, 15 per cent of funding has been received.