United Nations calls for renewing the mandate to deliver aid in Syria

United Nations calls for renewing the mandate to deliver aid in Syria

Jan 08 2020

ARK News: The United Nations called on Tuesday for a renewal of the mandate, which expires on January 10, and allows its humanitarian aid convoys to cross the border to deliver aid to the Syrians, considering it “the only possible way (…) to reach people in need.”

Members of the UN Security Council have been unable to reach agreement on the extension of this cross-border mandate that has been in effect since 2014 and which the United Nations considers necessary.

“There is no alternative plan. This process allows the assistance of hundreds of thousands of people and this has been done for a long time,” Jens Laerke, speaking for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told a press conference in Geneva.

“It is the only possible way we have to reach people in need. So it is imperative that we get renewed arrangements that allow these cross-border permits to continue,” he stressed.

In early January, members of the United Nations Security Council were unable to reach agreement, during a closed meeting, on the extension of the resolution allowing this cross-border assistance by the United Nations in Syria.

On December 20, Russia and China used their veto power to block a one-year decision to extend this aid, which passes through four border crossings (two on the border with Turkey, one on the border with Jordan and one on the border with Iraq).

In Syria, all humanitarian aid must be approved by the Syrian government.

The spokesman explained that the United Nations has sent 30,000 trucks carrying aid through four border crossing points since 2014.

He added that “the process, which is being conducted from Turkey, increased more than 40% compared to the same period last year due to the high humanitarian needs.”

He pointed out that four million people receive assistance through this process in the north of Syria, including 2.7 million in northwestern Syria (Idlib and its environs) who rely exclusively on this process for assistance.

Larki warned that “a million people in Idlib are trapped.”

Despite the cease-fire reached in August, the Idlib area has been witnessing a rise in violence for several weeks. According to the United Nations, at least 300,000 people have been displaced in the south of the governorate since mid-December, bringing the number of displaced people in Idlib to more than 700,000 over the past eight months.

Source: Observatory