UN Security Council’s Unanimous Approval to Extend Syria’s Cross-Border Resolution at Bab al-Hawa is Welcomed, But Insufficient
Syria’s humanitarian crisis now impacts 13.4 million people; Project HOPE calls for restoration of al-Yarubiyah and additional border crossings in future votes
Washington, DC (July 9, 2021) — In a much anticipated vote, the UN Security Council has unanimously voted to extend the Bab al-Hawa cross-border resolution providing humanitarian assistance to Syria, which was set to expire tomorrow, July 10, 2021. The draft resolution received 15 votes in favor to extend the resolution for up to 12 months.
Rabih Torbay, President and CEO of Project HOPE, issued the following statement:
“We welcome today’s renewal by United Nations Security Council of the cross-border resolution to allow humanitarian assistance through the Bab al-Hawa crossing. However, it is not sufficient: the UN Security Council has fallen short of restoring a critical crossing al-Yarubiyah on the Iraqi border.
“The humanitarian crisis in Syria has not subsided. On the contrary, some 13.4 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance: this is a 21 percent increase from 2020. For millions of Syrians who live in northeast and northwest Syria, the cross-border mechanism has been a critical lifeline providing food, shelter, protection, medical and other lifesaving services. It is estimated that 81 percent of people in the northwest and 69 percent in the northeast are in need of aid; half of whom are children.
“It’s even more urgent to ensure all populations in need in northeast and northwest Syria have access to humanitarian assistance, including health care, at the time of a deadly pandemic. Without access to populations in need, efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic in the region and globally will be undermined.
“We call on the UN Security Council to always prioritize the needs of Syrian civilians by ensuring that lifesaving aid continues through cross-border points, and on all parties to the Syrian conflict to abide by their obligation under international humanitarian law to ensure unconditional and unhindered access to impartial humanitarian relief for civilians in need.”
About Project HOPE
With the mission to place power in the hands of local health workers to save lives around the world, Project HOPE is a global health and humanitarian organization operating in more than 25 countries. Founded in 1958, we work side-by-side with local health systems to improve health and support community resilience. We work at the epicenter of today’s greatest health challenges, including infectious and chronic diseases; disasters and health crises; maternal, neonatal and child health; pandemic preparedness and response; mental health for health workers; and the policies that impact how health care is delivered. For more information, visit www.ProjectHOPE.org and follow us on Twitter @ProjectHOPEorg.