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5 UN bodies call for extending Syria aid

Five United Nations organisations yesterday called on the Security Council to extend a cross-border aid mechanism to Syria.

The demands were made in a joint statement by Martin Griffiths, UN Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Catherine Russell, the executive director of the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Natalia Kanem, executive director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program, and Antonio Vitorino, the head of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

Last year, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2585, which allowed an extension of the delivery of cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria until 10 July 2022.

"In less than a month, the resolution that allows the UN and its partners to provide life-saving humanitarian aid to northwestern Syria across the border with Turkey will expire," the joint statement said, warning that the mandate was "critical to the lives and well-being of the 4.1 million people trapped in northwestern Syria."

The humanitarian leaders called for renewing the resolution "to continue the Syrian aid for an additional 12 months." "Some 80 percent of those in need are women and children, and more than 3.2 million people are food insecure and are in deep need of food assistance," they reiterated.

They also warned of "dire consequences" if the aid was cut.

Since 2011, over half of Syria's pre-war population of 22 million has been forced to flee their homes in search of safety and opportunity, many of them more than once. Families still living in Syria are struggling to survive and meet their basic needs.

(MEMO)

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