New York, NY, December 19, 2017 — The International Rescue Committee (IRC) welcomes today’s renewal of Resolution 2165 by the United Nations Security Council, which reaffirms the ability of UN agencies and other humanitarian organizations to deliver urgently-needed assistance to the Syrian people from neighboring countries and across conflict lines. As the conflict progresses well into its seventh year, the international community must recommit to the principles underpinning this historic resolution — namely the right to humanitarian aid delivered as effectively as possible — says the IRC. Thanks to these cross-border efforts, many millions in need, in both Northern and Southern Syria, have received consistent life-saving assistance over the past three years — providing a lifeline to many without recourse to aid from other sources.
When Resolution 2165 was originally passed in 2014, 10 million civilians were in desperate need of assistance. Today, that figure is higher than 13 million, making the call for effective and immediate assistance into all parts of Syria all the more urgent. On average, life-saving aid was delivered to almost 3 million people every month through cross-border aid deliveries between January and August of this year alone — and since cross-border operations began in 2014, over 16,000 trucks laden with assistance have entered Syria. In 2016, thanks to cross-border aid delivery, the IRC alone reached over one million people inside Syria, and is on track to reach at least as many in 2017. These civilians rely overwhelmingly on the IRC for health care, psychosocial support, cash and livelihoods assistance and social protection services, which includes monitoring of threats to wellbeing such as child labor, early marriage, and violence, including sexual and gender based violence.
Cole Bockenfeld, IRC Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer, said: “The vote achieved in New York is essential. The IRC has repeatedly called on the international community to ensure that aid reaches all those in need in Syria; and as needs grow, despite reports of deescalation — 400,000 civilians remain trapped in the besieged area of Eastern Ghouta including 1,200 children suffering from severe malnutrition — the international community must recommit to the principle behind the resolution: that all people in need have a right to receive aid through the most direct means possible. This resolution reaffirms the commitment of the international community to Syria’s beleaguered population, ensuring that the work of organizations like the IRC can continue to reach Syrians in need. We cannot forget the long-suffering Syrian people; for many, our support is the difference between life and death.”
Spokespeople are available for comment.
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 28 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.