Joint Statement of Cross-Border Syria NGOs
New York, NY, June 29, 2022 — A group of 29 NGOs is warning of a humanitarian disaster if a UNSC resolution authorizing the cross-border delivery of life-saving aid and services to reach Syria is not renewed by July 10. What is at stake is access to food aid, vaccinations against COVID-19, essential medical supplies and essential services, including healthcare, access to clean water and education for millions of Syrians currently dependent on this cross-border aid.
NGOs are urging the Security Council to maintain this essential lifeline for Syrians in the northwest of the country where a record 4.1 million people, the majority of whom are women and children, now need help. ‘humanitarian aid. As needs continue to grow, driven by ongoing conflict, economic downturn, drought and COVID-19, aid agencies are warning that closing this lifeline would cause inexcusable suffering.
In 2021, the UN Security Council cross-border assistance authorization enabled humanitarian organizations to reach more than 2.4 million people per month in the northwest, providing food to 1, 8 million people, nutritional aid for 85,000 people, education for 78,000 children, access to life. dignity kits for 250,000 women and girls, and essential medical items and supplies to help people survive the cold winter months. NGOs are clear that cutting off this channel of assistance will have devastating humanitarian effects on civilians and that there is no viable alternative.
The NGOs are asking the Security Council to act on the basis of the sole principle of humanity and to reauthorize the cross-border resolution for another 12 months. NGOs say anything less than a 12-month renewal would jeopardize the response just before the harsh winter months when people living in camps or in damaged homes, often in flimsy tents or makeshift shelters , are more vulnerable to the elements and need urgent scale support to survive. If cross-border assistance were not allowed again, civilians in need of life-saving assistance would be cut off from help.
David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee said:
“The Syrian people have been wronged for too long, and now is the time for UN security to correct its course and show that it can put people’s lives above politics. Humanitarian realities on the ground should be the sole driver of Security Council action in Syria. The humanitarian case for cross-border assistance is now more evident than ever, with more than 14 million Syrians in need, a 50% increase since 2014. The Syrian people need more help and more humanitarian access, not less.
“The reauthorization of Bab al-Hawa, for 12 months, is the bare minimum. It will ensure that aid, including essential medicines and supplies, COVID vaccines and vaccinations for children, can reach the Syrians who have the most acute needs through the most direct routes. Failure to renew would risk collapsing hospitals, health centers and mobile clinics serving more than 4 million people in the North West at a time of heightened need. »
Sofia Sprechmann Sineiro, Secretary General of CARE International said:
“What should a Syrian mother do if she wakes up on July 11 to find that food aid for her and her children will be cut off? How would you tell the 97,000 pregnant women that they will have to live without emergency obstetric or postnatal care? How will a family of six survive the coming winter without heat or building materials to repair their flooded tents? The UN Security Council must shoulder its responsibility to ensure that this lifeline of cross-border aid for Syrians in the northwest of the country remains in place for another 12 months.
Husni Al-Barazi, Founder of the Big Heart Foundation, President of ARCS, said:
“Let’s be clear: Syrians are facing the biggest hunger crisis since the conflict began more than a decade ago. The price of basic foodstuffs has increased by up to 86% in the last 18 months and continues to rise, while the purchasing power of families is at an all-time low. The worst drought the country has faced in 70 years will only further worsen food insecurity throughout 2022 and beyond. For many families in northwestern Syria, aid brought across the border through the Bab Al-Hawa crossing is their only source of food. The World Food Program provides food to 1.4 million Syrians every month through this crossing. If the Security Council fails to support a renewal, I am distraught as I warn that over a million people stand to lose this food aid.
We are frontline humanitarian actors serving millions of Syrians in need every day. We call on the Security Council to see us through this prism – Humanity – Neutrality – Impartiality – Independence in the best interests of humanity. We must ensure their support in this renewal. It is unfathomable to think of the catastrophic conditions that a non-renewal would bring us. »
Andrew J. Morley, President and CEO of World Vision International, said:
“More than a million children in northwestern Syria depend on this cross-border assistance for their very survival. Their lives have been plunged into further chaos and misery over the past year as so many crises converge all at once – adding to the pain of the conflict that has lasted for so many years. Cutting off this vital lifeline at a time when it is so desperately needed would have catastrophic and heartbreaking consequences for the most vulnerable.
International Rescue Committee
World Vision International
save the children
Norwegian Refugee Council
body of mercy
Humanity & Inclusion – Handicap International
Syrian American Medical Society – SAMS
Big Heart Foundation
American Relief Coalition for Syria (ARCS)
Syria Relief and Development (SRD)
People in need
Rahma Worldwide Aid and Development
Hand in Hand for Relief and Development (HIHFAD)
Al-Sham Humanitarian Foundation – AHF
Swasia Charitable Foundation
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore the health, safety, education, economic well-being and power of people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC works in more than 40 countries and more than 20 American cities to help people survive, regain control of their future and strengthen their communities. . Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC at Twitter & Facebook.