The vote in the Security Council that puts the lives of 4 million people in Syria at risk is decided

The vote in the Security Council that puts the lives of 4 million people in Syria at risk is decided. (EKATERINA ANISIMOVA/)

The UN Security Council will decide this Monday whether or not to renew the cross-border mechanism that allows aid to be sent to northwest Syria, where more than 4 million people require humanitarian assistancewithout passing through the hands of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The Bab al Hawa border crossinglinking the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib with Turkey, is the main route through which United Nations shipments currently enter parts of that and neighboring administrative demarcation Aleppoin the hands of the opposition to the government of Damascus.

Considered the last opposition bastion in the country, the region is home to almost 3 million people displaced due to the conflict that began in 2011 and the vast majority of its population, out of a total of 4.6 million inhabitants, requires humanitarian aid to survive.

NGOs and activists have urged the Security Council to renew the validity of the cross-border mechanism, established during the height of the war in 2014 and whose permanence has been seen against the ropes in recent years due to the veto of Russia and China, allies of al-Assad.

The last resolution adopted by the body last July extended the entry of aid from Turkey until this Tuesday, January 10, and left the door open to an additional extension of another half year, but conditioned it to a new vote.

A group of Syrian citizens transport their belongings back to Syrian territory at the border with Turkey at Bab al-Hawa.  (REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi)
A group of Syrian citizens transport their belongings back to Syrian territory at the border with Turkey at Bab al-Hawa. (REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi) (Khalil Ashawi/)

On that occasion, Moscowwhich since 2015 has intervened militarily in Syria in favor of Damascus, prevented its renewal for a longer period of time and their opposition resulted in an approval in extremis after the expiration date of the mechanism.

Tomorrow’s vote will take place amid a worsening humanitarian situation in Syria, where the coronavirus pandemic and the effects of the war in Ukraine have sent the prices of basic products soaring beyond the reach of a large part of the population.

Despite the fact that the Syrian crisis has reached record levels After almost twelve years of war, the long duration of the conflict and the appearance of new emergencies in other parts of the world have severely reduced funding for humanitarian assistance in the Arab country.

In 2022, the UN humanitarian response plan for Syria failed to raise even half of the required funds, staying at about 2.1 billion dollars of the total of more than 4.4 billion that he needed for his interventions.

the refusal

Various United Nations agencies have demanded from the Security Council a new extension of the cross-border delivery of aid in Syria and have warned of the “catastrophic” consequences for 4.1 million people if the agreement expires, something that will take place in just over a week.

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a group of vandalized buildings in Jabal al-Arbaeen, in Idlib province, Syria, March 20, 2022. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
FILE PHOTO: Several people walk in front of a group of destroyed buildings in Jabal al-Arbaeen, in Idlib province, Syria, on March 20, 2022. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi (KHALIL ASHAWI/)

“If the (UN Security) Council fails to extend it, the consequences will be catastrophic for 4.1 million people in areas not controlled by the Government. Most of them are women and children who need help to survive in the height of winter and in the midst of a serious cholera outbreak,” the signatories said.

“A failure by the Council to extend the resolution will also mean that the UN Monitoring Mechanism will cease to function, which will put an end to the UN verification system of the humanitarian nature of renditions at the border” he warned.

The signatories are the UN Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths; the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), António Vitorino; the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi; the executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Catherine Russell; the executive director of the World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley; and the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

(With information from EFE and EP)

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