World, Middle East

UN urges extension of cross-border assistance for Syria

'Failure to extend it would end UN aid and cause suffering and death,' says UN’s emergency relief coordinator

Beyza Binnur Donmez   | 29.06.2020
UN urges extension of cross-border assistance for Syria

ANKARA

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock on Monday urged UN Security Council to extend cross-border authorization to deliver further humanitarian aids to northwest Syria, saying that current assistance is "far from sufficient."

"The north-west continues to suffer a major humanitarian crisis. The cross-border operation needs to be scaled up further," Lowcock said told Security Council during a virtual meeting.

He warned that a failure to extend the cross-border authorization would sever the UN operation currently underway by ending the UN food deliveries and the support to nutrition centers and "it would cause suffering and death."

"So I want to be clear that the current levels of assistance delivered across the border are far from sufficient," the relief chief added.

Under the cross-border operations, 1,781 aid trucks crossed the border from Turkey into northwest Syria in May. Most of the cross-border aid was food and it is enough for 1.3 million people every month.

Echoing Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' remarks in his latest report, Lowcock said the continued cross-border operations require a renewal of the authorization for Bab al-Salaam and Bab al-Hawa crossings for an additional 12 months.

Both border crossings are required to sustain delivery, he said.

While the transshipment capacity of Bab al-Salam is lower than that of Bab al-Hawa, the former provides direct access to parts of northern Aleppo that host some of the highest concentrations of displaced people in the country with 1.3 million people.

Syria has been mired in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN figures.

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