CAFOD calls for fast action on Syria aid access

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CAFOD welcomes yesterday’s UN statement urging all those involved in the conflict in Syria to allow aid to reach civilians – but warns that time is running out for those most in need.

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In a statement released yesterday, the United Nations Security Council called on all sides in the war in Syria to facilitate safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all civilians in need.

As part of a coalition of 16 humanitarian agencies, CAFOD welcomed the statement, but urged the UN to translate its words into action. A joint letter from the agencies said:

“Success will be measured solely by tangible improvements for Syria’s civilian population on the ground in the form of food reaching hungry children, medical assistance reaching wounded and sick, and humanitarian aid flowing to those in need by the most efficient ways, including across Syria’s borders. Concrete results must come quickly. Syria’s civilian population has no more time to lose.” 

CAFOD is supporting Church partners in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. Our partners are supporting people in need on both sides of the conflict, often taking great risks to ensure that the aid gets through.

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The joint letter

A coalition of 16 international humanitarian organizations welcome today’s unanimous statement of the UN Security Council calling on all parties to the conflict in Syria to facilitate safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all civilians in need throughout the country.

Millions of Syrian civilians live under siege-like conditions, trapped in pockets without access to food, water, medical care and protection from violence. Half of those affected are children who are at particular risk of hunger and sickness with the harsh winter months quickly approaching.

We call on the UN Security Council to show resolve by immediately translating its words into action. Success will be measured solely by tangible improvements for Syria’s civilian population on the ground in the form of food reaching hungry children, medical assistance reaching wounded and sick, and humanitarian aid flowing to those in need by the most efficient ways, including across Syria’s borders. Concrete results must come quickly. Syria’s civilian population has no more time to lose.

The Security Council’s statement today outlines specific and measureable steps. It urges the Syrian authorities to lift bureaucratic restrictions that prevent lifesaving aid from reaching civilians – in particular by granting visas for NGOs and UN staff, expediting registration for international NGOs, and facilitating access for relief convoys across conflict lines and international borders. It urges all parties to the conflict to immediately demilitarize medical facilities and schools and agree on humanitarian pauses in the fighting to facilitate safe and unhindered access.

We call on all parties to the conflict to act immediately on these requests. We further call on the Security Council to keep apprised of progress through reporting from the Secretary General on implementation of the statement within 30 days, and each 30 days thereafter, and be firm in ensuring fulfillment of its demands.

STATEMENT ATTRIBUTABLE TO UNDERSIGNED HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS:

ACTED
CAFOD
Christian Aid
Doctors of the World USA
Doctors of the World UK
Handicap International
International Rescue Committee
Islamic Relief Worldwide
Médecins du Monde France
Norwegian Refugee Council
People in Need (Cz)
Refugees International
Save the Children
Tearfund
War Child UK
World Vision International

 
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