Syria

United Nations and Syrian Arab Red Crescent Complete the Delivery of Life-Saving Assistance for 50,000 People in Rukban

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Damascus, 11 November 2018

During the period from 3 to 8 November, the United Nations and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent conducted a life-saving assistance mission for 50,000 people in Rukban, in the Tanf border area of Syria and Jordan. The six-day mission delivered food, medical supplies and household material; assessed the humanitarian needs; monitored part of the distribution of the humanitarian supplies and vaccinated over 5,000 children.

“Despite the successful completion of this convoy and the delivery of essential food and non-food items, the situation for the people of Rukban remains dire and remains unsustainable. Many have been in Rukban for three years now and are looking for a way out” said Ali Al-Za’tari, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria.

After tedious negotiations, and a complicated coordination process with all parties involved, the mission succeeded to reach the camp. “We would like to thank all parties who extended support to our humanitarian teams and were instrumental in the mission’s success” Al-Za’tari added.

While the UN calls for support longer term solutions, including the facilitated movement of the plight of the Rukban dwellers to safer areas, any movement should be voluntary, safe and dignified and to a place of their choosing. Al-Za’tari added “The UN in Syria is calling for another convoy before the end of the year focused on winterization support. In the meantime, and until a long-term solution is found, the sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance is essential”.

The United Nations continues to call on all parties to ensure safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to people in need, in line with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

For more information, please contact UN Damascus, office of the RC/HC:
Fadwa AbedRabou Baroud, Fadwa.baroud@one.un.org, +963 996 666 134
Dr. Khaled Al Masri, khalid.al-masri@one.un.org, Tel: +963 991 206 555

Background to the Editor:

• Between 3-8 November, the United Nations (UN) and Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) delivered humanitarian assistance for 50,000 people in Rukban. This included food aid, hygiene kits, winter clothes for children, basic health and nutrition supplies and plastic sheets. The convoy consisted of 78 trucks (67 trucks with supplies and 11 trucks with logistical items for the team staying within the 55km zone). In addition, a vaccination campaign for polio and other routine vaccines took place, reaching over 5,100 children. The campaign was supported by the Ministry of Health who provided 21 vaccinators.

• This is the first-time humanitarian assistance reaches Rukban from within Syria and the second-time assistance is delivered this year, with the last delivery taking place in January from Jordan.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.