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MSF urges UN to ensure safe, sustainable delivery of aid to Syria

August 9, 2023 at 11:52 am

People protest against the blocking of humanitarian aid due to Russia’s veto at Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing in Idlib, Syria on August 2, 2023 [İzettin Kasım/Anadolu Agency]

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has urged member countries of the UN Security Council to find a solution with the utmost urgency that guarantees impartial, non-politicised and sustainable humanitarian access to northwest Syria.

MSF – also known as Doctors Without Borders – yesterday slammed the failure to renew the cross-border UN Security Council resolutions safeguarding access to vital humanitarian aid for northwest Syria saying it impedes the continuity of aid and reinforces the isolation of the region.

“The resolution expired a month ago and there is no solution currently in sight. This is simply deplorable. Humanitarian aid has been used as a tool in a political dispute and struggling people in northwest Syria will pay the price for this failure,” said Sebastien Gay, MSF head of mission for Syria.

“These people have been suffering for 12 years and live in conditions that no human being should be subjected to. The end of the last remaining impartial cross-border mechanism means things will get even worse for them,” he added

For years, the cross-border resolution has enabled UN agencies and their international and national partners to provide humanitarian aid to northwest Syria through the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing in an impartial manner, exempting them from negotiations with bordering Syrian and Turkish authorities, MSF explained in its statement.

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More than four million people live in this part of Syria and have endured years of suffering as a result of a long, violent conflict. Some 2.9 million of them are internally displaced people struggling to find shelter and access clean water, food and healthcare, it added.

“Humanitarian access to Syria must be efficient, safe, consistent and protected from politicisation, and the cross-border mechanism is an essential component of it,” MSF said.