Peace in Syria “is a moral and political imperative both for the Syrian people and for the world,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday. He urged the parties to the conflict to fully back a fragile ceasefire and ensure aid access, as well as to support UN-facilitated talks set to pick up again late this month.
“For six years now, the Syrian people have been victims of one of the worst conflicts of our time,” Guterres said in a statement on Wednesday.
The UN chief issued two urgent appeals to all the parties: firstly, to make the most of the 30 December 2016 ceasefire by enhancing it further and ensuring that relief aid can reach all those in need in Syria without any obstacles and impediments. Secondly, the UN chief appealed to all those with influence on the conflict parties to overcome their differences and work together to put an end to the conflict, namely by contributing to the success of the intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva on the basis of the Geneva Communiqué and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2254 (2015).
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) representative in Syria Elizabeth Hoff said that civilian access to health services has seriously deteriorated over the past six years, with more than half of public hospitals and primary health centers having either closed or remaining only partially functioning.
Citing World Health Organization on Wednesday, Hoff said that health care in Syria is a casualty of the war which entered its seventh year.
“Accessing functioning health facilities has become a challenge for most people in the Syrian Arab Republic, regardless of where they live,” WHO said.
“In spite of the current ceasefire, WHO and its partners have not yet been able to regularly access communities in hard-to-reach areas. In addition, the latest data indicate that in 2016 more than two-thirds of attacks on health care settings globally occurred in the Syrian Arab Republic,” WHO added.
“On this sad anniversary of the start of war in Syria and before more lives are lost, WHO calls for systematic and unhindered access to all areas to deliver life-saving medicines, vaccines and medical supplies,” Dr Peter Salama, Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)