Tuesday, October 15, 2019
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UN RELIEF COORDINATOR CALLS FOR “UNRESTRICTED” HUMANITARIAN ACCESS IN SYRIA

NEW YORK, -- UN Relief coordinator called on pressuring the Syrian authorities to allow unrestricted humanitarian access without interference.

The Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O?'Brien informed the Security Council that since January of this year, nearly 850,000 people in Syria have been reached and provided with aid by the UN and its partners, including some 330,000 of the nearly 600,000 people living in besieged areas.

While that represents progress, he warned that it is but a trickle compared to the protection needs of people in hard-to-reach and besieged areas.

Despite the continued best efforts of the UN and their humanitarian partners on the ground to reach all those in need in communities across Syria, the realities of the ongoing conflict and the continued interference and intransigence of the parties to the conflict present serious challenges to humanitarians ability to do so, he said.

O?'Brien said the limitations by the Syrian authorities placed upon access in terms of where, who and how much aid can be delivered continues to render assistance to some communities quite simply a non-starter, and is compounded by those same authorities then making every effort to delay, distract and dismantle convoys as the UN and other agencies are attempting to undertake their work.

In the latest statistics, O?'Brien updated the French-led Council, that some five million people are living in hard-to- reach areas, an increase of over 900,000 people from the previous estimate.

With the continued rejections of access requests, the UN humanitarian official urged the Syrian authorities "to turn partial approvals into full approvals and to put an end to the removal of medical supplies, which continues."

Be assured, he said, if given the full approvals to all areas, the UN and its partners do have the capacity to step up and fulfil those needs, so long as the funding is flowing as cash, not just the words of pledges.

He spoke in his address to the Council about the dozens of barrel bombs that were reportedly dropped on June 10th in Darayya, the day after the United Nations and the SARC delivered the first food aid to the town since November 2012, stating that the situation for people in besieged and hard-to-reach areas will not be solved by humanitarian aid delivery alone.

Outside the Council, Syrian Ambassador to UN Bashar Ja?'afari told the press that his country did not need "hypocrite informal meetings, we need crystal cut resolutions and implementations of previous ones adopted by the Security Council."

He accused the donors summits to be "forced donation meetings, with forced donations for Syrians," implying many humanitarian players promised to pay billions for Syria, and OCHA only received 19 percent of the pledges.

Ja?'afari said the meetings are "orchestrated meetings to defame the Syrian authorities." The Syrian official confirmed they have submitted 600 letters, about different issues to the Secretariat and Security Council with no response.

Source: Name News Network