Food supplies in northwest Syria will be depleted by September if the United Nations mandate for the last border crossing into the region is not extended in July, aid groups warned on Thursday.
“This is a moment when it’s absolutely vital that the people of Syria are not forced to pay the price of geopolitical divisions,” David Miliband, head of the International Rescue Committee, said during an online briefing Thursday. He said cross-border aid to northwest Syria supports 1.4 million people every month and “remains an urgent prerequisite in the Syria conflict.”
Tanya Evans, Syria’s country director for the committee, said the global food crisis “is particularly devastating” on Syria, especially Idlib, which is home to many internally displaced by the 11-year war.
“If this mechanism is not renewed in July, then it is anticipated that food supplies will be depleted by September,” she warned. Evans said non-governmental organizations are estimating they have the capacity to scale out and reach approximately 300,000 people with food assistance — meaning that more than 1 million will have no access to food in September.
Sherine Ibrahim, a Turkey director for CARE, said that if the resolution is not renewed, approximately 80% of protection services provided by the United Nations “will come to a screeching halt.” She warned that the most affected will be women and children.
The Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) earlier called for extending the UN resolution on the cross-border entry of aid, stressing that no one should succumb to Russia’s blackmail and its attempt to obstruct the renewal of the UN authorization. It also stressed that humanitarian aid must not be sent through the Assad regime because it is using it to feed its allied militias.
The SOC made it clear that Syrians do not see aid as an end in itself, but a means they were forced to use to survive and cope with the harsh conditions they are going through. It also stressed that the Syrian people’s primary goal is to get rid of the Assad regime, hold it accountable, and rebuild Syria so that they can return to their homes and build a new Syria that preserves human freedom and dignity.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)