The following statement was signed by Members of InterAction, the largest alliance of international NGOs and partners in the United States, with over 180 Members who work across the development and humanitarian landscape. Please find the full PDF version of the statement here.
“The U.N.’s cross-border mechanism enables life-saving assistance to reach over four million people who continue to be in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria. In Idlib, where 70% of the population are women and children, the cross-border system is the only way to reach people with urgent humanitarian assistance including food, shelter, and healthcare. Aid agencies are already struggling to meet people’s basic needs and as winter approaches, thousands of families continue to live in open fields with no alternative. Now is not the time to scale back on humanitarian assistance.
“There is no alternative to reach the millions of people in need at the scale and timeliness provided by cross-border operations. It is vital that the U.N. Security Council maintains the flexibility and responsiveness from all cross-border access points included in the resolution and allows humanitarian actors to operate with certainty and efficiency through renewing the mechanism for another twelve months.
“The U.N. Security Council must not fail the millions of Syrians whose lives are at risk. We call on all of its members to urgently work to extend this essential lifeline which is more vital now than ever.”
Humanitarian agencies are calling on the U.N. Security Council to adopt a one-year renewal of Resolution 2449, which authorizes the U.N. and partners to deliver aid cross-border into Syria. Humanitarian needs have escalated significantly in recent months and are likely to rise further.
This resolution was first adopted in 2014 to ensure civilians in need across Syria could safely and reliably access humanitarian aid, and this remains the driving imperative for this resolution today. The last five years of cross-border assistance to millions of Syrians have demonstrated that this mechanism is the most effective and efficient to provide life-saving assistance on the basis of need alone.
We urge the U.N. Security Council to maintain all four original border crossing points to ensure the resolution’s effectiveness and relevance to the humanitarian needs in Syria.