More than four million people in northwest Syria will be affected by a lack of humanitarian aid delivery agreements.
Residents of Syria’s rebel-held northwest may lose accessOfficials said that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which expires on Sunday and does not extend authorisations for cross-border delivery, will send critical aid to the affected countries within weeks.
After the UNSC had failed to grant humanitarian aid for an additional year, the UNSC did not send any aid from Turkey to the rebel-held northwest. Russian veto.
Without an agreement, the aid deliveries stopped two days before Sunday’s expiration of the UNSC’s current one-year mandate for deliveries through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing from Turkey to northwest Idlib.
The decision is likely to affect more than four million citizens, according to Mazen Allouche, the crossing’s media office manager.
“It’s a prelude to a complete and uncontrollable famine,” said Allouche from his office.
This vote will almost immediately affect refugees.
“Russia pushed us to tents, to hunger, thirst, and heat. And now they want to deny us the food aid basket that barely sustains us for half of the month,” said Zahra Alrahmoon, a resident of the Ahl al-Tah camp in Idlib province for internally displaced Syrians.
International aid groups urged UNSC to reach an accord before the July 10 deadline warning of the Russian veto’s impact on millions of people in desperate need of assistance.
Russia, a close ally of Syria’s government, has repeatedly called for stepped-up humanitarian aid deliveries to the northwest from within Syria, across conflict lines.
This would give President Bashar al-Assad’s government more control.
‘They want to starve us’
More than 4,600 aid trucks, carrying mostly food, have crossed Bab al-Hawa so far this year, helping some 2.4 million people, according to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
“If aid deliveries are diverted through regime [areas] then we will effectively be besieged,” said Abu Mohammad, a displaced Syrian living in a camp in northern Idlib. “They want to starve us and bring us down to our knees,” the 45-year-old father of four told the AFP news agency.
The Bab al-Hawa crossing closed for the second consecutive day Sunday because of the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha. Allouch explained that the crossing will reopen Wednesday for civilians and non-UN relief convoys. These include those sent by Turkish aid groups or other international aid organizations.
Senior UN officials and humanitarian workers insist that aid deliveries can’t replace UN cross-border operations. The cross-border mechanism at Bab al-Hawa – in place since 2014 – is the only way UN assistance can be brought into the rebel-held northwest without navigating areas controlled by Syrian government forces.