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Concern Worldwide welcomes UN Security Council vote on cross-border operations into Syria

Press release9 January 2023
Meeting chambers of the United Nations Security Council
Security Council meets on situation in Syria. Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Irish humanitarian organisation, Concern Worldwide, welcomes the decision today by the United Nations Security Council to renew authorisation of cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid from Türkiye into northwest Syria for a further six months.

Humanitarian organisations, including local, national, and international NGOs, the UN, and others, rely on cross-border access through the Bab Al-Hawa crossing to reach people who need lifesaving supplies of food, medicines, and other essential items.

“The cross border mechanism is critical to allow humanitarian organisations to reach over four million people in northwest Syria who rely on humanitarian aid, and are particularly vulnerable in these cold winter months,” said Concern CEO, David Regan.

Concern, together with its partner NGOs, advocates for the continued renewal of the critical aid delivery mechanism, which UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently described as “indispensable”. Almost 90% of the population of northwest Syria requires humanitarian support, which reaches the area through Bab Al-Hawa. More than 6,400 UN humanitarian aid trucks passed through the crossing last year.

Negotiations at the Security Council have grown increasingly fraught in recent years. The duration of the mandate has varied at times between six and twelve months. The uncertainty around the only border-crossing allowing humanitarian aid between Türkiye and northwest Syria makes it difficult to plan humanitarian operations. Most recently, in July 2022, the renewal was cast into doubt, when use of the veto resulted in a last-minute scramble to secure agreement.

Today’s resolution was drafted by Ireland and Norway in December before they concluded their terms as elected members of the Council. 

“The adoption of the resolution is a relief, but there is more work to be done. The UN Security Council must urgently find a long-term solution for reaching people in northwest Syria with assistance,” Mr Regan added.

“It is not sustainable to have to renew this mechanism every six months, with high levels of uncertainty each time. People’s lives hang in the balance, people who already live in dire conditions; their rights and needs must always take priority over political concerns.”

For further information, please contact Eilis Staunton, media relations officer with Concern Worldwide at or on +353 85 872 0720

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