Woman receiving box from man

Syria cross-border aid: UN Security Council veto catastrophic for northwest's population 

Statement from Sofia Sprechmann Sineiro, CARE International Secretary General  

July 11, 2023 - “The veto at the United Nations Security Council today preventing the renewal of the Syrian cross-border mechanism marks a low point in the Council's humanitarian record since the start of the Syrian conflict. Ever since 2014, when the Council first authorized the UN to conduct a cross-border operation to meet the humanitarian needs of Syrians, member states have always managed to find a compromise to ensure those needs would be met.  Today, the Council has allowed politics to drive its decision, rather than the humanitarian needs of Syrian people.   

The UN Security Council’s decision will have catastrophic consequences for the region’s population of 4.1 million people whose survival depends on UN assistance. Within weeks, essential goods and services will become scarce and even less affordable, including food, clean water, vital health-care services, dignified shelter, protection services and education. UN humanitarian funding for Syrian organizations will dry up, causing many of the NGOs who are the backbone of the humanitarian response to have to close their doors.   

Last month, CARE International joined over 31 Syrian and international humanitarian organisations to warn the Security Council that if it failed to renew the cross-border mechanism, it would send a message to Syrians that the Council is willing to accept preventable additional suffering and loss of life on its watch. It is extremely difficult to see these events come to pass, knowing the toll it will take on in the population of northwest Syria who have already suffered too much. It is critical that the Security Council overcomes its division, puts the needs and rights of the Syrian people first, and swiftly adopts a new resolution to reauthorize humanitarian access through the Bab al-Hawa crossing for 12 months to ensure Syrian people in need are reached by the most direct route.  

Time and political leadership are of the essence.”