ACTNews, SYRIA – Aid agencies are warning of a looming humanitarian catastrophe if the UN Security Council fails to renew a resolution allowing lifesaving aid delivered cross-border to reach Syria. The resolution is set to expire in exactly a month on July 10th. NGOs are warning that a failure to renew would put access to food assistance for more than 1 million people at stake, as well as COVID-19 vaccinations, critical medical supplies, and humanitarian assistance for many more.
The armed conflict that has raged for more than a decade has also caused a food crisis. The amount of agricultural land, especially wheat, is shrinking. In addition, many bakeries were forced to close because they couldn't operate. This also has an impact on economic conditions and high inflation rates in Syria.
The humanitarian case for cross-border assistance is more obvious today than ever before, with over 13 million Syrians in need – a 30% increase since 2014. Syrians are worse off by nearly every measure than at almost any other point in the past decade. 81% of people in the northwest and 69% in the northeast need aid. Malnutrition in children under five is skyrocketing.
If the Security Council fails to support renewal, the supplies would run out by September 2021. NGOs estimate they only can scale up to meet the needs of 300,000 people, leaving over 1 million without food assistance.
Inger Ashing, CEO of Save the Children International said, “After ten years of conflict and displacement, and now COVID-19 driving an economic crisis, an unprecedented number of children in Syria are battling hunger and malnutrition. And the numbers are rising, as parents lack access to fresh food and are left with no choice but to cut out meals. Children run the risk of their growth being stunted, which can impact their ability to learn and potentially increase the risk of depression or anxiety.
Meanwhile, Said Mukaffiy from ACT’s Global Humanity Response team hopes that Generous Friends can continue to pray and strive for our brothers and sisters in Syria. One million Syrian people must endure a life-threatening hunger crisis. Said also invites Generous Friends to continue helping the Syrian people. "For the sake of humanity, our brothers and sisters in Syria urgently need humanitarian assistance so that they can emerge from this prolonged crisis," said Said.