Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos Statement on Syria - 25 May 2014
(New York, 25 May 2014): I am outraged by yesterday’s deliberate attack on a humanitarian warehouse in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, which occurred as aid workers were preparing to distribute urgently needed supplies from an aid convoy to hundreds of families in the besieged city.
The targeting of the warehouse, which reportedly killed several people and wounded one Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) volunteer, is evidence of the blatant disregard for International Humanitarian Law which is a disturbing feature of the conflict in Syria.
The attack also violated assurances from those involved in the conflict that they would refrain from hostilities while the joint United Nations/SARC convoy was on the ground.
Douma has been under siege by Government forces for over 18 months. It is nearly two months since humanitarian workers were last able to bring supplies into the city. People are in desperate need of food, water, sanitation, health services and medicines.
Following the attack distribution on site could not take place. The supplies of food and non-food items, and medicines for the treatment of chronic diseases for up to 24,000 people, were delivered to Syrian Arab Red Crescent partners in Douma.
Aid workers are frequently targeted or subjected to harassment in Syria. On 8 February, humanitarian workers came under direct attack during the aid delivery and evacuation of people from the old city of Homs. Such attacks are utterly unacceptable and have a devastating ripple effect as they hinder the provision of aid to those in desperate need.
In the tragedy of Syria’s war, UN agencies and our humanitarian partners will continue to look at how best we can continue to deliver life-saving aid. To do this, we must have sustained, predictable and safe access throughout the country.