IOM Names Syria as World’s Most Dangerous Place to Deliver Aid in 2017 as Assad Regime Continues to Block Aid Deliveries
Syria was named as the world’s most dangerous place to deliver aid in 2017 as the Assad regime continues to target the UN aid convoys.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Wednesday published a list of the world's most dangerous places to deliver humanitarian aid for 2017, with Syria on top of the list.
According to data IMO published by on its Twitter account, 29 international humanitarian staff members were killed in Syria last year.
The Assad regime besieges many towns and villages in Syria, the largest of which is the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta where about 400,000 civilians are currently trapped inside. Thousands of civilians have died of hunger, cold and disease since the siege was laid on the area in 2012.
The Syrian Coalition has repeatedly accused the Assad regime of blocking aid deliveries and of tightening the siege on civilians with the aim of displacing the local population and changing the demographic landscape in Syria, such as in Darya in the Damascus suburbs, the old quarters in Homs, and other areas.
The Assad regime forces have repeatedly targeted UN convoys carrying aid to the besieged areas, killing and injuring a number of humanitarian aid workers and volunteers.
The United Nations blamed the Assad regime for failure to deliver humanitarian aid to those in need in Syria.
Earlier in December, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Syria Jan Egeland rebuked Russia and Iran for not doing more to give aid agencies access to eastern Ghouta.
Egeland said that eastern Ghouta is one of the most affected areas in Syria, adding that the Assad regime refused to facilitate the introduction of aid to the besieged area.
Last month, the UN Security Council approved the extension of the mandate of cross-border aid convoys for another year. The mandate allows the delivery of humanitarian aid across borders and conflict lines in Syria until January 10, 2019. The UN Secretary-General will in return put forward recommendations to strengthen the monitoring mechanism for the aid convoys.
Mark Lowcock, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said that 13 million people in Syria are still in need of humanitarian assistance, including 6.3 million who need urgent aid. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Enab Baladi)