UN, WHO, UNICEF, others call for humanitarian access to north-west Syria

The United Nations, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and others on Friday called for humanitarian access to north-west Syria where millions of people are trapped and hungry.

They said miilions of people pressed up against the border in an active war zone in north-west Syria and remain in need of humanitarian aid to survive.

Read full statement below

“Millions of people are pressed up against the border in an active war zone in north-west Syria and remain in need of humanitarian aid to survive. The UN needs cross-border and cross-line access to reach those most in need.

We call for the renewal of Security Council authorization for cross-border operations from Turkey to north-west Syria. A failure to do so would immediately stop UN delivery of food, COVID-19 vaccines, critical medical supplies, shelter, protection, clean water and sanitation, and other life-saving assistance to 3.4 million people, including 1 million children.

The UN continues engagement with all concerned parties to also allow cross-line convoys into the north-west. They are critical for the expansion of the overall response, but even if deployed regularly they could not replicate the size and scope of the cross-border operation. There is simply no alternative.

A large-scale UN cross-border response for an additional 12 months remains essential to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in north-west Syria.

Signatories

Mr. Mark Lowcock, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Mr. António Vitorino, Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Mr. David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP)

Mr. Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Ms. Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO)

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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