UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the Security Council to introduce a resolution on cross-border aid to Syria, particularly in the north-western regions, around Idleb.
In a confidential report sent to the Security Council on Tuesday, Guterres said cross-border humanitarian aid to the Idleb governorate is necessary even if the Assad regime and its supporters do not approve of this decision. Idleb remains outside the regime’s control.
“Cross-border assistance remains vital for millions of people in need, in northwestern Syria (Idleb and beyond),” according to the report, part of which was published by AFP.
“At this stage, convoys across the front lines, and even regularly deployed convoys, have not reached the level of assistance achieved by the cross-border operation at the Bab al-Hawa crossing between Syria and Turkey.”
The UN Secretary-General spoke of a plan to introduce aid to the Idleb governorate. The draft will be submitted soon to the Security Council for a vote.
“This plan, if implemented, will make front-line operations more predictable and more effective,” Guterres said, without giving further details.
Around 4.5 million people in Syria need assistance this winter, an increase of 12 percent from the previous winter, according to Guterres’ report. This increase is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted that only 2.9 percent of Syria’s population received the vaccine in both doses.
Syrian aid: Dissatisfaction, discrepancy, and skepticism after the split extension decision
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in July 2021, extending aid delivery to Syria through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey for an additional year in two phases, each lasting six months.
While interpretations of the resolution differ, Russia says its duration is six months, subject to renewal, and may also be subject to a renewed vote, according to the UN Secretary-General’s report, which will be discussed in the coming days.
Idleb and cross-line convoys: Has the aid issue entered a new phase?
Russia then refused to discuss a draft resolution submitted by Norway and Ireland to the Security Council. The resolution provides for the extension of the international mechanism for the delivery of aid through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey for an additional year. This comes in addition to the opening of the Yarubiya border crossing with Iraq.
The United States has been demanding the opening of three humanitarian crossings in Syria. U.S. Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said in a Security Council meeting in March that “people’s lives in Syria depend on emergency aid, and we must allow its delivery through three crossings.”
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.