The conflict in Syria has entered its seventh grim year. Since March 2011, its people have watched huge parts of their beloved country reduced to rubble.
The toll taken on civilians is inexcusable. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed. Almost five million people – the majority of them women and children – have fled the grotesque violence and deprivation and are now living as refugees. Too many who set out on perilous journeys to escape the war perished on the way.
The United Nations is calling for greater assistance to meet the growing needs of millions of men, women and children inside Syria this year.
Amman, 8 March 2017 UN Assistant Secretary-General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis Kevin Kennedy is calling for greater efforts to address the needs of more than 7 million women and girls in Syria impacted by the conflict.
The United Nations is deeply concerned over the fate of an estimated 5,000 civilians trapped by fighting in and around the town of Al Bab in northern Syria.
“We urgently call on all parties to the conflict to immediately ensure the unhindered movement and safe passage for people trying to reach safety. The UN and partners are ready to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to the civilians who are caught in the middle of this combat,” said Ali Al-Za’tari, the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria.
The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria is appealing to all parties to reach an agreement for immediate access to the besieged Four Towns of Al-Zabadani, Al-Fu’ah, Kafraya and Madaya. Sixty thousand innocent people are trapped there in a cycle of daily violence and deprivation, where malnutrition and lack of proper medical care prevail. The last humanitarian convoy provided by the UN and partners reached them on 28 November 2016.
The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria condemns the heinous attack on a Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) distribution center in the Hamadaniyah neighborhood of Aleppo city yesterday which resulted in the death of two SARC workers and injury of four SARC volunteers, two of whom remain in critical condition. In addition, two women who had come to the center to receive humanitarian assistance were killed and many others were injured. This is the second attack on SARC this month following the 1 February attack on the building where the SARC branch in Idleb is based.
Mr. President and distinguished Council members,
What: Helsinki Conference on Supporting Syrians and the Region
When: A joint press conference will be held on 24 January, from 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm, bringing together HE Mykkänen, Minister of Foreign Trade and Development, and three Principles of UN agencies: Stephen O’Brien, OCHA; Filippo Grande, UNHCR; and Helen Clark, UNDP.
Where: The venue for the Plenary Session, High Level Panels and press conference is Säätytalo (House of the Estates), Snellmaninkatu 9-11, Helsinki, Finland.
WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien
WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi
Helsinki –The Government of Finland will bring together key humanitarian and development stakeholders on 23 and 24 January in Helsinki to discuss the response to the protracted crisis in Syria and neighbouring countries, now into its sixth year.
The Helsinki Conference on Supporting Syrians and the Region will gather senior representatives of Governments in the region; UN agencies; international financial institutions; donors; representatives of international and national non-governmental organizations; and the private sector.
ALEPPO, 1 January 2017- Numbers and stories cannot convey the depth of suffering endured in each individual case of a Syrian in need in Aleppo. Exactly how many people have left east Aleppo is not known, but the United Nations (UN) and partners estimate our number to be at least 35,000 during last week’s evacuation.
With the Secretary-General, I welcome today's news of the Security Council's unanimous adoption of the resolution in support of the mediation efforts by the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey to facilitate a ceasefire in Syria, and the Council’s renewed call to allow rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access throughout Syria in order to reach all people in need, wherever they are.
DAMASCUS, 29 December 2016- The United Nations is alarmed that four million inhabitants in Damascus and surrounding areas have been cut off from the main water supply since 22 December. Two primary sources of drinking water- Wadi Barada and Ain-el-Fijah-which provide clean and safe water for 70 percent of the population in and around Damascus are not functioning, due to deliberate targeting resulting in the damaged infrastructure.
As delivered to the Council by OCHA Officer-in-Charge, Director of Operations John Ging.
I provide this update to the Security Council today on behalf of the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr Stephen O’Brien.
As we meet today, the evacuation of the eastern districts of Aleppo may have concluded but the situation in Syria remains catastrophic. Some 13.5 million people within Syria are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, including nearly 9 million who are food insecure.
I welcome the adoption of resolution 2328 (2016) by the Security Council.
I sincerely hope that, through the passing of this resolution, all parties and those with influence over them will finally and unequivocally ensure that civilians in Aleppo who have suffered so much and for so long are afforded all necessary protection and assistance.
Our task now is to turn these words into meaningful action. It is vital that the resolution is fully implemented without any delay.
I remain extremely alarmed at the severe human tragedy unfolding before our eyes in Aleppo.
In the past 72 hours, air strikes, shelling and street-to-street combat, particularly in the city’s eastern neighbourhoods, have killed or injured scores of civilians. Since yesterday, thousands more fled the fighting in besieged eastern Aleppo with nothing more than the clothes on their back and their children in their arms.
Statement on the resumption of life-saving assistance at the Jordan-Syria border:
I welcome the resumption today of UN inter-agency humanitarian aid operations at the “berm” along the Syrian-Jordan border.
The resumption of humanitarian operations has opened a lifeline to an estimated 85,000 Syrians – three-quarters of them women and children – stranded in a remote, arid desert area, in desperate need of lifesaving assistance and support.