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Relief agencies and organizations call for unhindered aid delivery into north-west Syria

Relief agencies and Syrian organizations issued a statement on Friday, January, 12, calling for unfettered aid access into northwest through Bab al-Hawa border crossing due to the shortage and sustainability of the extension of humanitarian aid delivery.

The statement confirmed the importance of cross-border aid delivery without restrictions, pointing out that about 4.5 million people, including 4.1 million are in urgent need of aid and 3.7 million are food insecure.

The statement made it clear that Bab al-Hawa is the main crossing point for delivery about 90% of UN-led humanitarian aid into northern Syria.

The statement considered that the form of consent which allows Bab al-Hawa to remain open for an additional 6 months is a fragile form and based on short-term extensions that could be more sustainable for humanitarian programming.

The statement warned that thousands of schools, health facilities, water pumping stations, women and girls’ safe spaces, rehabilitation centers, displacement camps, and other are at risk of losing support and vital supplies that the UN provides through the Bab al-Hawa crossing on a daily basis.

The organizations expressed its deep concern over the shortage of cross-border aid, the commitment to humanitarian principles, and possible politicizing of humanitarian assistance.

The organizations explained that although there are no assurances against a possible arbitrary withdrawal of consent or imposing additional conditions, the consent form threatens the dignified and sustained humanitarian aid delivery to the affected populations.

The statement emphasized the need to keep unhindered and uninterrupted aid flow into north-west Syria in a principled and dignified manner without conditions or time restrictions.

The Assad regime announced earlier the extension of its approval for the international humanitarian aid to be delivered into northwestern Syria through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey for another 6 months, starting today, 13 January 2024, and continuing until 13 July 2024, with the ongoing aid delivery from Bab al-Salama and al-Raee crossings for an additional month under the fourth authorization until 13 February 2024.

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