Syria UN resolution: Stop playing politics with people's lives

Andrew Morley, President and CEO of World Vision International, said: “Children and their families in north-west Syria have endured nine years of conflict, been forced from their homes, and their economy lies in ruin. All this is now compounded by the threat of COVID-19. 

“Yesterday’s vote to renew the UN cross-border operation in Syria led to a disappointing result, with the use of veto powers by two permanent Council members. We therefore urge the UN Security Council members to come back to the table and find consensus.

“For so many, the assistance we provide can mean the difference between life and death. Just last week, I heard the story of a mother called Balsam, who was struggling to breathe with a severe asthma attack in the camp she had fled to. Our mobile clinic reached her in time, giving emergency treatment and medicine. 

“A resolution that does not include two UN crossings for the north-west, authorised for a year, means those like Balsam won’t get the help they need – leading to a further and entirely unnecessary loss of life.

“Security Council members owe it to the people of north-west Syria to urgently reconvene, re-authorise cross-border humanitarian assistance and stop playing politics with people’s lives.”

World Vision is calling for both north-west crossings to be renewed, to ensure humanitarian assistance can continue to reach the most vulnerable. Bab-Al-Hawa crossing is currently used at maximum capacity. For Bab-Al-Salam, due to insecurity and other constraints, 1.3 million children and their families can be reached with life-saving assistance through this crossing alone.