Despite Security Council measure, calls for aid access in Syria being ignored – UN relief official

Syrians receiving WFP rations. Photo: WFP/Dina Elkassaby

29 May 2014 – Three months after the Security Council unanimously approved a resolution aiming to boost humanitarian aid access in Syria, a senior United Nations official is once again appealing for rapid, unhindered and safe access to besieged Syrians.

“Bureaucratic obstructions on the delivery of assistance must stop. We don’t have the time for arbitrary restrictions on how and to whom we are allowed to deliver aid,” Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Kyung-wha Kang, told Security Council members in a closed-door session.

Through a resolution adopted in February, the Council demanded “that all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, promptly allow rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for UN humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners, including across conflict lines and across borders.”

The Council also insisted that all parties cease attacking civilians, including through the indiscriminate use of weapons in populated areas, such as shelling and aerial bombardment with barrel bombs, whose use has been condemned by the UN.

Today, Ms. Kang, who is also the Deputy Eme4rgency Relief Coordinator, noted with deep regret that “violence continues relentlessly” as do “flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by all parties.”

Women, children and men are being killed and maimed, and an estimated 2.5 million population in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

“We once again appeal for rapid, unhindered and safe access to every Syrian in need,” Ms. Kang told the Council. “All delivery routes must be made available to us – both cross-line and cross-border. Medical and surgical supplies urgently need to reach the wounded and sick.”

She added that UN agencies and partners are doing everything possible to address mounting needs “but the solution to this crisis does not lie with us.”

Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos is expected to brief the media early next week on the situation in Syria, according to her office (OCHA).


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