CARE International strongly condemns the use of a veto on a humanitarian resolution in the Security Council yesterday, which resulted in the Council’s failure to renew the cross-border resolution that ensured humanitarian aid reached those in need in Syria. At a time when the needs in Syria are greater than ever, the Security Council has effectively closed a vital lifeline providing food, clean water, shelter, medical assistance, education and essential protection on which more than four million Syrians in the northwest depend. for their survival.
It is a dark day in the 77-year history of the UN Security Council. International humanitarian law states that Syrians across the country who need humanitarian assistance have the right to receive it, regardless of where they live. By putting politics above the lives of Syrians, Council members have failed Syrians across the country.
This decision will add to the suffering and loss of life among Syrians, especially women and girls. 11 years of this conflict has resulted in widespread human rights violations and denial of justice, resulting in ever-increasing needs for Syrians. In northwestern Syria, an estimated 70% of the population is food insecure, some 1.7 million displaced people suffer from inadequate or dire living conditions, with minimal access to health, education and other essential services. Vulnerabilities are growing and people’s ability to cope with this protracted conflict is collapsing. The scarcity of resources such as water and the economic crisis in Syria and Turkey have aggravated a desperate situation. Now is the time to do more, not less.
Together with our dedicated Syrian partners, CARE continues to provide assistance to the people of the North West, but we are deeply concerned that we cannot scale up our work enough or even begin to fill the huge gaps left by the UN.
Syria has a unique coordination architecture to support the effectiveness of the response throughout its territory. It is incumbent on UN agencies to maintain effective joint coordination with NGOs to continue serving Syrians in the face of this new challenge.
In the context of an underfunded response in Syria, the cross-border modality is key to aid effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. Every dollar lost due to the increased cost of the response is a dollar taken away from Syrians in need. In addition to the delivery of supplies, the cross-border modality allows partners to provide sustained food and nutrition assistance, livelihoods support, specialized protection services for women and girls in the form of case management and other vital services. Cross-border access alone cannot compare or replace the cross-border modality in terms of the quality or volume of these services.
At a time of increasing emphasis on early recovery, the loss of reliable access enabled by the cross-border modality will jeopardize the money and the response that donors and humanitarian actors have begun to invest. in building the resilience of Syrians. The failure of the Security Council today will force the response in northwestern Syria to focus on supplies rather than services, and periodic deliveries rather than sustained assistance.
Simply put, there is no alternative to cross-border UN assistance and coordination to reach the millions of Syrians in need. We call on all parties to support principled humanitarian access and to maintain the ability of humanitarian actors to deliver assistance through all direct and most effective modalities, to ensure that Syrians across the country can receive it. We urge the Security Council to find a way to put politics aside and urgently reauthorize cross-border assistance and ensure that the lives of the Syrian people come first.
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CARE Senior Press Officer