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UN humanitarian leaders call for the renewal of cross-border aid authorization to north-west Syria

16 Jun 2022

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Lives of millions of people in Syria including mainly women and children depend on cross-border aid. Credit: OCHA/Mohanad Zayat

(New York/Geneva/Rome, 16 June 2022): In less than a month, the Security Council resolution that allows the United Nations and our implementing partners to provide lifesaving humanitarian aid to north-west Syria from across the border with Türkiye will expire.

The 15-member Security Council will decide whether to renew it or not.

This decision is critical for the lives and wellbeing of 4.1 million people trapped in the non-Government-controlled northwest of Syria bordering Türkiye. Many rely on humanitarian aid to survive, especially people who are displaced. Some 80 per cent of those in need are women and children. Over 3.2 million people are food insecure and need food assistance.

Our priority and only goal is to get humanitarian aid to families who need it in the safest, most direct and efficient way, away from political calculations or agendas. Last year alone, critical aid from the UN and our partners crossed the border into northwest Syria helping and protecting 2.4 million people each month.

Over the past year, we were able to send convoys from Government-controlled areas of Syria across internal frontlines into north-west Syria with nutrition, health, food and education supplies for more than 40,000 people. That is welcome progress, and we continue to increase these deliveries. However, much more is needed.

In addition to the important assistance provided via convoys, affected people also need comprehensive access to basic services.

We urge the members of the Security Council to renew UN Security Council Resolution 2585, authorizing continued cross-border assistance for an additional 12 months. We must also secure regular access to northwest Syria from Government-controlled areas. We must increase the number of channels of humanitarian assistance and maximize humanitarian access.

Failure to renew the resolution will have dire humanitarian consequences. It will immediately disrupt the UN's lifesaving aid operation, plunging people in north-west Syria into deeper misery and threatening their access to the food, medical care, clean water, shelter, and protection from gender-based violence currently offered by UN-backed operations.

Over the years, funding for this lifeline operation has been dwindling. Amid other critical crises globally, we call for predictable funding to support the delivery of assistance to north-west Syria.

The lives of millions of people depend on it.

We are counting on members of the Security Council to enable our vital work to continue. The people of Syria will be counting on them to make the right choice.