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One year after the earthquake, the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria continues

One year after the earthquake, the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria continues


Escalating hostilities across much of Syria, particularly in the north of the country, continue to kill and displace civilians, while recent bombardments have caused the closure of hundreds of essential facilities, according to the United Nations. But even as these conditions increase people's dependence on humanitarian assistance, the challenges to humanitarian workers' ability to safely provide essential assistance also multiply.

One bright spot is the Syrian government's recent agreement to allow the resumption of humanitarian aid deliveries through the Bab al-Salam and al-Rai border crossings until May 13. More than 5,000 trucks carrying essential aid passed through these crossings in 2023, providing essential assistance to 2.5 million people per month and performing more than one million medical procedures.

“We welcomed the three-month extension of UN access through the Bab al-Salam and al-Rai crossings. These additional crossings have provided critical capacity and enabled faster and more efficient delivery of aid to communities in need,” said US Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs to the UN, Robert Wood. In addition to the vital crossing in Bab al-Hawa.”

He added: “At the same time, we have made clear that re-allowing these crossings for ninety days is not a sustainable approach to addressing the scale of humanitarian needs in Syria.” “Given that humanitarian needs are at the highest level since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, there is no reason why the regime and all parties in Syria cannot ensure humanitarian access as long as needs continue.”

“Indeed, humanitarian access to all Syrians, wherever they are, and through all routes, must be unimpeded. This includes the cross-line delivery of humanitarian aid to Rukban camp, where the regime and Russia continue to block UN convoys,” Ambassador Wood said. .

He said: “At the same time, we must not ignore Russia's role in obstructing political progress in Syria as stipulated in Resolution 2254 – the only internationally defined path to ending the conflict.”

“Russia has undermined the work of the Constitutional Committee, a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned and UN-facilitated process, by imposing demands unrelated to Syria that have prevented the committee from meeting since July 2022.”

“The Assad regime has hidden behind Russia and rejected direct negotiations for too long,” Ambassador Wood said.

He added: “We call on the Syrian regime to play its role in implementing a nationwide ceasefire, and to finally engage in the political process in good faith.”




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