Lives will be lost | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 13, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:01 AM, July 13, 2020

Lives will be lost

Aid agencies warn as UN buckles under Russia, China pressure to cut aid access to Syria

A UN Security Council resolution that leaves only one of two border crossings open for aid deliveries from Turkey into rebel-held northwestern Syria will cost lives and intensify the suffering of 1.3 million people living there, aid agencies said.

Western states had pressed for aid access to continue through two crossings at the Turkish border, but Russia, President Bashar al-Assad's main ally in his war against, and China vetoed a last-ditch effort on Friday to keep both open.

The UNSC on Saturday approved aid deliveries to Syria through one border crossing from Turkey, a day after its authorization for the six-year-long humanitarian operation ended, leaving millions of Syrian civilians in limbo.

"In northwest Syria, where a vital cross-border lifeline has been closed ... it will be harder to reach an estimated 1.3 million people dependent on food and medicine delivered by the UN cross-border," aid agencies operating in Syria said in a joint statement.

"Many will now not receive the help they need. Lives will be lost. Suffering will intensify."

"With the first case of COVID-19 confirmed in Idlib, an area with a severely weakened health infrastructure, this is a devastating blow," the statement added.

In a separate statement, Physicians for Human Rights said the resolution had shut down "direct routes to hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians in dire need of food and medicine".

Russia and China have argued that the northwest can be reached from within Syria, meaning via government-held territory, and that aid deliveries from Turkey violate Syria's sovereignty. "This issue should not be politicized," deputy Russian UN envoy Dmitry Polyanskiy said after the vote.

Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch, said: "Council members buckled and gave Moscow what it wanted – a further drastic reduction of cross-border aid to desperate Syrians who rely on it for survival."

Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star Android & iOS News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Grameenphone:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 22222

Robi:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222


Banglalink:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

Leave your comments

Top News

Top News

Top