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UN humanitarian chief briefs Security Council on Syria

20 Jan 2021

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Displaced families from the Marret Al-Numan countryside south of Idleb, Syria, seek shelter in a damaged school in the town of Binish in Idleb Governorate (April 2020). © OCHA

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock earlier today briefed the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

Mr. Lowcock focused on five areas: the economic crisis; the impact of COVID-19; the protection of civilians; humanitarian access; and how humanitarian organizations are organizing themselves to provide assistance across Syria.

On humanitarian assistance being provided to people in need across Syria, he noted that the UN-coordinated humanitarian operation assisted an average of 7.6 million people a month across the country in 2020 – an increase of about 20 per cent compared with 2019.

Mr. Lowcock also said that the UN country team in Syria has been in discussions and continues to engage with the Syrian Government and with Member States in the region regarding its work on resilience and early recovery and the new strategic framework for 2021–2023.

Given the importance of further engagement, the UN in Syria is working on a six-month extension of the strategic framework, to ensure that critical operational activities continue.

“We will continue to use every opportunity we have to deliver aid to those most in need. That will require adequate funding, improved access, and an end to the violence that has tormented Syrians for nearly a decade,” Mr. Lowcock said.

Mr. Lowcock’s full statement is available online.