Organizations warn of consequences
Imminent border closure in Syria
With a border crossing threatened to close, aid organizations are warning of a worsening of the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
ARCHIVE – Two children warm their hands in a refugee camp. The already catastrophic humanitarian situation of the internally displaced people in north-west Syria worsened with the onset of winter. Photo: Juma Mohammad/IMAGESLIVE via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
Welthungerhilfe and Malteser warned on Friday that people are particularly dependent on cross-border aid now in winter.
The reason for concern is a UN resolution that expires on January 10th. It ensures that United Nations aid supplies are also brought to Syrian regions that are not controlled by the government via Turkey. On Monday, the Security Council in New York plans to extend cross-border aid for a further six months. The support has been extended several times in the past, but the last time in July there were days of negotiations.
Russia had vetoed a draft resolution that envisaged extending the regulation by a further year and finally agreed to an extension of only six months. Moscow supports Syria’s ruler Bashar al-Assad and therefore prefers to transport aid via the Assad-controlled capital Damascus. In the summer, the Bab al-Hawa border crossing had to be temporarily closed due to ongoing talks.
According to the Malteser International, more than a million internally displaced persons are already affected by malnutrition in the north-west of the country. “After almost twelve years of war, the situation for the people in Syria has deteriorated again in recent months,” said Thomas Weiss from the aid organization. According to him, other organizations cannot fill the gap that would arise if the UN aid supplies were stopped.