Home International News Guterres underlines 'moral imperative' to continue cross-border relief operations from Türkiye -...

Guterres underlines ‘moral imperative’ to continue cross-border relief operations from Türkiye – Global Issues

In all, more than 14 million people in Syria need help in a plight where infrastructure has crumbled and economic activity has been cut in half due to conflict, regional financial crises, sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resolution 2585, passed unanimously last July, called for continued use of the Bab al-Hawa border crossing to the northwest, in addition to progress on cross-border aid deliveries within Syria.

Maintain consensus

The Secretary-General said that while the massive humanitarian response from the UN and its partners has prevented the worst, more support is needed

“I urgently call on Council members to maintain consensus on allowing cross-border operations, by extending Resolution 2585 for a further 12 months. It is a moral imperative to address the suffering and vulnerability of 4.1 million people in the area who need help and protection,” he said.

The cross-border mechanism was first approved in 2014 and more than 50,000 trucks have entered war-ravaged Syria since then.

It is one of the most heavily monitored and controlled relief operations in the world, Mr Guterres told the Council.

End humanitarian tragedy

The secretary-general not only called for the resolution to be renewed, but also urged ambassadors to make every effort to encourage warring factions in Syria to come to the negotiating table.

“The only way to end the humanitarian tragedy in Syria is by… a real national ceasefire and a political solution that allows the Syrian people to determine their own future,” he said.

UN chief of humanitarian affairs, Martin Griffiths, briefed ambassadors on some of the progress made since July.

“Last year around this time, there were no cross-line convoys to northwestern Syria. Since the adoption of Resolution 2585, we have carried out five convoys, each carrying 14 trucks, from government-controlled areas to Idleb, in the northwest,” he said.

“This has opened cross-line access to northwestern Syria for the first time in the past 12 months since 2017. It’s no small thing

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‘We want to do more’

The trucks delivered food to more than 43,000 people each time, along with nutritional, hygiene, medical and education supplies.

“But we want to do more, we need to do more, we expect to do more and we are working to expand access,” he continued. “But we need a stimulating environment. We need timely approvals from all involved and security assurances, especially for safe passage. And of course we need money.”

Mr Griffiths underlined the need to continue providing assistance from Türkiye for another 12 months. Last year, some 800 trucks brought aid to the northwest, reaching just under 2.4 million people.

He warned that without cross-border access, hunger will increase, medical cases will go untreated, the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines will be disrupted and the ability to protect millions of women and girls from gender-based violence will also be severely limited, among others. effects.

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