Humanitarian organizations issued several statements condemning the UN Security Council’s adoption of the resolution to deliver humanitarian aid to Syria for only six months. They called it a disappointment to millions of Syrians in northwestern Syria.
The current mechanism for re-authorization every six months represents an “impossible situation” for aid providers, and puts more than 4 million Syrians in need of basic assistance in northwest Syria at risk, the Syrian American Medical Association (SAMS) said in a statement on Tuesday.
Over the past 12 months, basic needs have increased in north-western Syria, where the number of civilians in need of humanitarian aid has risen to 4.1 million, while the overall vaccination rate against COVID-19 has remained below 5%, the Association added.
Read Also: UN Security Council Extends Syria Cross-border Aid by 6 Months
“Humanitarian aid to northwestern Syria has not helped the emergency situation. What is needed is expanded access, not further restrictions,” the statement said.
Physicians for Human Rights said the six-month extension of the mandate is a “temporary victory” for health and humanitarian workers in the region and millions of Syrians.
“This very narrow and shameful compromise only leads to a temporary re-employment of health and humanitarian workers, who need time to plan their missions in Syria,” she said.
The Syria Response Monitoring team also issued a statement expressing “great disappointment at the UN Security Council’s compliance with Russian demands, although additional solutions could have been reached. This reveals the falsity of international statements about alternative plans.”
“The latest decision is the start of the closure of the Bab al-Hawa border crossing to humanitarian operations in the coming period, and the diversion of humanitarian aid to the Syrian regime areas with international acceptance and acceptance by the UN,” it said.
Russia offers two options
Russia has imposed two options on council members, “either to terminate this mechanism or to extend it for only six months,” an unidentified UN Security Council delegate was quoted by AFP as saying.
“We can’t let people die,” he said, justifying the council’s approval of the extension for only six months.
The United States abstained from voting on a United Nations Security Council resolution on Syria’s cross-border humanitarian aid.
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said in a statement that “the reason is simple: this was a mandate that was held hostage by the Russian Federation. ”
“The humanitarian needs in Syria are greater than at any point since the start of the conflict. But instead of providing more access to provide Syrians with the food, water, medicine, and humanitarian supplies they desperately need, Russia wielded its veto to stop us from doing what the Secretary-General, UN agencies, and so many others described as the bare minimum: renewing the sole remaining UN-authorized border crossing for a straightforward 12-month extension, ” Thomas-Greenfield added.
She confirmed that the “United States will continue to work with our humanitarian partners to expand access inside Syria. We will look at all options to stave off the worst-case scenarios about which we have warned. We will take a hard look at our aid posture in Syria and do everything in our power to help those in need. ”
China’s Position (by SANA)
China’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dai Bing has said that his country’s position on the humanitarian issue in Syria is consistent and clear, adding that Beijing has always stressed that humanitarian aid delivery to Syria must respect the sovereignty of the Syrian state.
“We look forward to the strict adherence of all parties to the basic principles governing international humanitarian assistance and to the strict compliance with the requirements of Security Council resolutions, in addition to ensuring the neutrality and transparency of aid, and making it more targeted and effective,” Xinhua quoted Dai as saying in a statement after the UN Security Council session yesterday, during which a resolution was adopted to extend the mechanism of cross-border aid delivery humanitarian aid into Syria.
“China’s position on the humanitarian issue in Syria “is as consistent as it is clear”, he said; namely, that aid to Syria must respect its sovereignty, that cross-line delivery should become the main channel for such aid, and that cross-border delivery is a temporary arrangement. Therefore, it is necessary to speed up the transition to cross-line relief.
Dai said that the unilateral Western measures imposed on Syria severely restrict the operations of international humanitarian agencies in it and contradict the efforts of the Security Council and the international community to improve humanitarian access and increase humanitarian resources in Syria.
He added that China urges the relevant countries to immediately and comprehensively lift the unilateral measures imposed on Syria.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.