The Security Council’s failure to reauthorize UN cross-border aid into northwest Syria today will only add to the anxiety and uncertainty that Syrians living there are already enduring. About 90% of the northwest region’s population are living in poverty and struggling to feed their families. Today, their most vital lifeline hangs in limbo. The UN provides 80% of food aid in northwest Syria and over 70,000 young children depend on UN-funded nutrition programs for their survival, the majority of which travels through the UNSC-authorized Bab al-Hawa crossing. This division amongst Council members is all the more unacceptable given that millions of Syrians who reside in northwest Syria, a region that is home to people who have experienced repeated displacements, are still reeling from the devastation caused by the earthquakes only five months ago. Even before the earthquakes struck, humanitarian needs were already at a record high since this 12-year conflict started.
Council Members should be guided by humanitarian needs rather than politics, and ensure Syrians in need, wherever they are, can be reached through the most direct routes and using all modalities, in order to live in dignity. After so many years of failure for the Syrian people, we call on the Security Council to urgently convene to re-authorize access through Bab al Hawa for a further 12 months at a minimum.
International Rescue Committee
Norwegian Refugee Council
World Vision International