The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said on Wednesday: “The Security Council should warn of the dire consequences, if it fails to extend the mechanism of humanitarian access to Syria across the border.”
This came in the council’s last session on the humanitarian situation in Syria, before the mandate of the current mechanism for delivering aid from Bab al-Hawa crossing on the Turkish border expired.
“I strongly appeal to you to reach consensus on allowing cross-border operations, as a vital channel of support, for another year,” Guterres added.
He stressed that the Syrian people are in dire need of this mechanism, as the situation is currently worse than ever, noting that “13.4 million people need humanitarian assistance, 12.4 million suffer from food insecurity, and the gross domestic product has decreased by 60 percent since 2011.”
And he added: “The United Nations humanitarian operation in Syria is the largest in the world, as we launched a humanitarian appeal to collect $4.2 billion to alleviate the country’s plight, while we raised $5.8 billion to support refugees in the region, and by this day we have obtained (only) $636 million for the Syrian response, and less
of $600 million for the regional response.”
Guterres described the humanitarian situation in the liberated north of Syria as “the worst in the country,” noting that “more than 70 percent of the region’s population is in need of humanitarian assistance, and there are about 2.7 million displaced people.”
At the end of next July 10, Ireland announced its intention to work with Norway to submit a draft resolution in this regard.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow does not agree with the United Nations and Western countries about the lack of an alternative to delivering humanitarian aid to northwestern Syria.