UN working to start cross-border aid to Syria

 

Associated Press

The United Nations said Wednesday it has already positioned supplies for the first convoys that will deliver aid from several neighboring countries to rebel-held areas in Syria, and hopes to reach 2.9 million people.

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos and the heads of the World Food Program and the U.N. children's agency said in a joint statement that a Security Council resolution adopted Saturday authorizing cross-border aid deliveries "represents a breakthrough in our efforts to get aid to Syrians in need."

The council, in rare agreement on Syria, authorized U.N. agencies and aid organizations that assist them to deliver humanitarian assistance across conflict lines between government and rebel forces and through four border crossings — two in Turkey, one in Iraq and one in Jordan — without government approval. It authorized the United Nations to monitor the loading of all aid shipments in the three countries before they cross the Syrian border.

Amos, WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said they are working with heads of other U.N. agencies and NGO partners "on how best to implement the resolution, as a matter of urgency."

WFP teams on the ground are proceeding immediately to put in place the monitoring system required by the resolution and UNICEF has already positioned supplies for the initial shipments including blankets, water purification materials, hygiene kits and syringes, the U.N. officials said.

"Hungry, homeless children don't know or care whether they are in a government-controlled area or an opposition-controlled area," they said. "They just want food and a safe place to live.

The officials urged all parties to the Syrian conflict and those with influence over them to enable unconditional humanitarian access to the nearly 11 million people in the country who need help, using the most direct routes, whether across borders or conflict lines. They also demanded an end to the "onerous administrative procedures before convoys are allowed to travel from one place to another."

Read more World Wires stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category