Syrian lives will be lost if aid access is blocked, warn humanitarian agencies
BEIRUT (LEBANON) – Aid agencies have warned that the UN Security Council resolution leaving only one of the two border crossings open for delivering aid to Syria from Turkey will cost lives and intensify the plight of 1.3 million people living in the rebel-held northwest part of the country.
Although Western states had urged aid access to continue through the two border posts, Russia, which is President Bashar al-Assad’s key ally in his war against rebels, and China vetoed the effort on Friday to keep the outposts open.
“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 U.N. cross-border,” said aid agencies in a 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.
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”.
Meanwhile, Russia and China argue that the northwest region can be reached from within Syria.
“This issue should not be politicised,” deputy Russian UN envoy Dmitry Polyanskiy said after the vote.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field