Global relief body urges UN to renew cross-border aid mechanism for Syria


An international relief organization on Thursday called on the UN Security Council to renew the provisions of the cross-border resolution for another year to ensure humanitarian aid to the Syrian population.

In a statement, Doctors of the World called for “a guaranteed renewal of this cross-border resolution for at least another 12 months to ensure that millions of Syrians continue to have access to food aid, essential medicines, and other basic humanitarian goods.”

“We cannot be debating whether to keep a border crossing open or not, because the lives of millions of people in northern Syria depend on it,” the statement added, citing Hakan Bilgin, the president of Doctors of the World Türkiye.

The Ukraine war, severe drought, rising food prices and 11 years of war have left Syria in a critical state, it said.

According to the Doctors of the World, if there is no access to humanitarian aid in the north of the country, there will be no medical supplies, no food, and no relief work for the population living in northwestern Syria.

The statement added that while cross-border access was vital last year, “it is even more critical today” due to the conflict in Ukraine which increased the food prices, and “the worst drought in seven decades.”

The UN Security Council is set to vote on Sunday on whether to renew the cross-border mechanism, which has allowed the Bab al-Hawa passage to operate since 2014. It is the only crossing providing a link between Idlib, northwestern Syria and Türkiye allowing the delivery of humanitarian aid to the region.

The relief organization “has been working on access to health, especially primary care, in Aleppo province since 2008, in partnership with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent,” according to the statement.

With the outbreak of war, Doctors of the World adapted its response to ensure access to the most fundamental health needs of the population, it added.

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