Despite the urgency of getting aid to millions of Syrians, there has been little progress in reaching those most in need. Four months after the UN Security Council achieved rare consensus to approve a resolution demanding rapid, safe and unhindered aid access, aid still is not reaching the most critical areas – and the Assad government is directly responsible.
Noting the dire urgency of the situation, United to End Genocide released a letter today addressed to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calling upon the United States to push for cross-border delivery of aid and take a more aggressive approach to saving lives.
In the letter, United to End Genocide President, Tom Andrews, recalls that, “it has been six weeks since [Kerry’s] announcement at the latest Friends of Syria meeting that the United States is considering alternative ways for delivering aid with or without Assad’s consent”.
The letter further notes today’s briefing of the UN Security Council by the top UN humanitarian official and the most recent report of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, both of which emphasize the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation and access to address it.
Last month, a group of 35 international law experts published a letter that said that UN humanitarian agencies could legally defy the Syrian government’s “arbitrary” refusal to allow aid workers into areas under rebel control. Coupled with the existing UN Resolution 2139 demanding unhindered humanitarian access, including across borders, aid convoys should immediately be sent into Syria across its borders with Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan.
In today’s briefing, UN Aid chief Valerie Amos noted that since February, an additional 1.2 million civilians are now living in hard-to-reach areas, bringing the total to 4.7 million people. And the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has exploded to over 10 million. Yet, the Assad regime continues to implement policies that make access even more difficult.
As the letter from United to End Genocide notes, if progress continues to be blocked at the Security Council, the United States should move forward quickly through the UN General Assembly and the many allies who support a more aggressive approach to saving lives. See below to read the full letter.
Act now to stop the humanitarian crisis in Syria
Pleas for increased aid for those who have fled have gone unheard and both the Syrian government and the rebels are blocking delivery of food, medical care and relief suppliesAct now and tell President Obama and Congressional leaders to immediately address the humanitarian crisis in Syria.