UNSC Votes to Extend Cross Border Aid to Syria at Reduced Rate

Friday, 17 Jan, 2020

"Russian Federation won its push to cut back the number of crossing points from four to two, and to guarantee they continue only for an additional six months, instead of the one year several other council members sought".

US Security Council on Friday renewed a six-year cross-border operation offering assistance to millions of Syrian civilians, but the number of crossings and length of authorization were halved to avoid a Russian veto.

The civilians left via the al-Hadir crossing in the southern countryside of Aleppo, said the report.

Craft, the United States ambassador, said that all UN officials agree that the humanitarian situation in Syria is deteriorating, and she called the diluted resolution that Russian Federation demanded "shocking, complete indifference to human suffering".

He said he returned to find the shop destroyed and his four employees trapped beneath the rubble.

"Syrians will suffer needlessly as a result of this resolution".

By contrast, the United Nations humanitarian office said it has been supporting 4 million Syrians through cross-border aid deliveries - 2.7 million in the northwest and 1.3 million in the northeast.

Senior UN officials said this month that the humanitarian situation had become more acute with at least 300,000 civilians now on the run in Idlib, adding to the more than half a million people who fled earlier bouts of fighting to the safety of camps near the Turkish border.

"It's an inadequate response for the Syrian people". "Aid is not a political tool to be bargained with", she declared.

Last Friday, Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, and Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, briefed the Council in closed consultations on developments in Idlib.

A Turkish n armored automobiles patrol as they conduct a joint floor patrol with American forces in the so-called "protected zone" on the Syrian facet of the border with Turkey, close to the city of Tal Abyad, northeastern Syria, Friday, Oct.4, 2019.

For her part, US Ambassador Kelly Craft described the resolution as "grossly inadequate".

It also asks Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to conduct an independent review of United Nations humanitarian operations across borders and conflict lines within six months. "And it will continue to come", he stated.

He said the situation has changed "dramatically" on the ground, and the renewed mechanism should reflect the change. We would have preferred just the extension of the mandate for six months without the other limitations; however, in a situation where it was either two border points or none, a hard decision had to be made.