Edinburg, TX – Millions of lives are in imminent danger and the situation could be catastrophic if the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) fails to renew the UNSC 2504 Cross Border resolution by July 10, 2022. Needs continue to rise at unprecedented levels, and more Syrians are now at risk for hunger than any other time in the past 11 years. With over 70% of the population experiencing food insecurity, and the cost of food continuing to rise exponentially. Closing the cross-border could result in catastrophic consequences.
According to a letter signed by 32 NGO leaders, “Converging crises and economic shocks including drought, inflation, economic collapse among Syria’s neighbors, and the COVID-19 pandemic have compounded an already dire humanitarian situation. As a result, today more than 14.6 million Syrians are dependent on humanitarian aid to survive, including 4.1 million people living in the northwest who are largely reliant on cross-border humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs.”
In 2021, the UN-led cross-border response allowed humanitarian actors to reach over 2.4 million people per month, which includes food for 1.8 million people, nutrition assistance to 85,000, education for 78,000 children, and access to life-saving dignity kits for 250,000 women and girls. In addition, delivery of critical medical items and supplies needed to provide lifesaving health services and response to COVID-19, and to increase people’s resilience to cope with adverse weather conditions helped save lives.
There are over two million people in need of medical assistance in Idlib. Closing the border will not only result in hunger and malnutrition but also leave the most vulnerable including newborn babies, their mothers, and patients with life-threatening illnesses and diseases without access to the care and medicine they need and deserve, resulting in countless unnecessary deaths.
We call on the UN, INGOs and the international community to ensure that desperately needed aid continues to reach the most vulnerable families in Syria and to prevent a catastrophic situation to millions in the region by renewing the cross-border assistance resolution for the Bab Al-Hawa Crossing to NW Syria.
Dr. Khaula Sawah, President of UOSSM USA said, “We implore the international community to save lives by renewing the cross-border resolution. Closing the border will have catastrophic consequences on the most vulnerable of people living in dire conditions. 75% of those displaced families in northwest Syria are children and women, that rely on humanitarian aid and relief to survive. The UNSC and the international community must do the right thing continuing to allow aid in through the Bab Al-Hawa crossing, which will ultimately save lives and prevent mass starvation. Millions of lives are at stake.”