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Press Release

No humanitarian justification for today's UNSC Syria Cross-Border Aid vote

International Rescue Committee President and CEO David Miliband said, "The elimination of border crossings for vital aid in today’s UN Security Council Resolution 2504-- despite the fact that two crossings into Idlib province have been saved-- has no humanitarian justification. The resolution represents a striking step backward for the people of Syria and for the reputation of the Security Council. The resolution cuts the number of aid crossing points in half, and also halves the duration of their operation from previous resolutions. In the case of the Iraq-Syria crossing at Yaroubiya it cuts an aid crossing that saw passage of 40 UN convoys last year. The International Rescue Committee is distressed and dismayed at this turn of events. IRC teams on the ground confirm that needs are growing, not shrinking, and that the last thing Syrian civilians caught in ongoing conflict need is for the delivery of humanitarian aid to be compromised. It is unjustifiable and unforgivable that against this grim backdrop, Council members were cornered into scaling back, in both scope and timeline, the only UN resolution dedicated to relieving Syrian suffering.

"There now threatens a swift and dangerous humanitarian impact of this decision. The removal of the Yaroubiya crossing will immediately halt critical medical supplies and disrupt at least half of the healthcare response in northeast Syria. Mothers will go without medical supplies in the delivery of their babies. Health facilities will go without trauma kits. Supply chains inside Syria simply cannot fill the gaps.  Moreover, the limit of the resolution to six months will hinder efficient and effective aid delivery.

"It should be alarming for all those concerned with global stability, never mind for the four million Syrians dependent on cross border aid, that the one resolution focused on humanitarian relief has been the victim of political tug of war. We look to the United Nations, from the Secretary General down, to track the consequences of this decision and make absolutely clear the damaging consequences of these cuts in cross-border humanitarian aid and ensure that there is no doubt in the minds of any Security Council members about the need to extend and expand the modalities put in place by this resolution. The fates of millions of Syrians depend on it as does the reputation and relevance of the Security Council.”

About the IRC

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 over 20 U.S. cities 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.