Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Ending UN aid to opposition-held areas threatens millions of Syrians


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A local official has warned that millions of people living in opposition-held areas of northwest Syria could lose vital humanitarian aid within weeks. The panic came after Russia vetoed the Security Council’s extension of a UN mandate to provide cross-border aid. The mechanism, which allows aid to be transferred only through the Syrian-Turkish border to areas controlled by the fighting factions in Idlib without crossing Syrian government-held areas, is expiring. Sunday.

Residents of opposition controlled areas Syrian May not be Major humanitarian aid A local official has warned that within weeks, unless the Security Council extends a UN mandate that expires on Sunday to deliver aid across the border.

Russia used its veto on Friday during a United Nations Security Council vote on a draft resolution to extend a mechanism to provide humanitarian aid to Syria without Damascus’s consent for a year. Order for six months.

The non-permanent members of the House can propose a new nine-month extension in an attempt to find a solution. But no new agreement had been reached by Sunday morning, threatening to cut off millions in this aid.

The mechanism to allow the transfer of aid via the Bab al-Hawa crossing ends on Sunday ASyrian-Turkish borderThe only way to get aid to areas controlled by the fighting factions in and around Idlib (northwest) is without going through areas controlled by the Syrian government.

An ‘inadequate’ contingency plan

“As of today, there is no clear information about the mechanism that will be dealt with in the coming period,” Mazen Alloush, director of the public relations office at the Bab al-Hawa crossing (northwest), told AFP.

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While the UN mandate was not extended, he added, “UN partner organizations working in liberated areas have an emergency plan,” but “it is not enough to meet the needs of the population. More than a month.”

Bab al-Hawa crossing was closed on Sunday for the second day in a row due to the Eid al-Adha holiday.

Alloush explained that the Bab al-Hawa crossing “will remain open to the movement of passengers, patients and aid convoys” while no means of aid entry has been found across the border. From Turkish charities.

Senior UN officials and aid workers who provide assistance in this way, UN They have repeatedly warned that cross-border operations cannot be changed in scope and scale.

The UN mechanism has been in place since 2014 and allows the transfer of aid to more than 2.4 million people in the jihadist-held Idlib region (northwest) via Bab al-Hawa on the Syrian-Turkish border. and opposition groups.

More than 4,600 aid trucks have crossed the border this year alone, most of them carrying food, according to data from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

France 24/AFP

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
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