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Needs of Syrian People Must Be Top Priority

Workers carry boxes of humanitarian aid near Bab al-Hawa crossing at the Syrian-Turkish border in Syria.

Bab al-Hawa is the only border crossing between Turkey and Northern Syria still open for UN aid deliveries to Syria.

Needs of Syrian People Must Be Top Priority
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4.1 million people in the region need assistance, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Of these, 3.3 million are scrambling to secure sufficient food.

Bab al-Hawa is the only border crossing between Turkey and Northern Syria still open for UN aid deliveries to Syria’s north-western region. For years, the United Nations Security Council annually voted to re-authorize the delivery of aid through several crossing points. In 2021, however, Russia cut back deliveries to a single crossing point. In 2022, Russia further limited the mandate, insisting it be renewed every six months.

On January 9, one day before the mandate expired, the United Nations Security Council voted to keep the Bab al-Hawa open.

“The United States welcomes the unanimous adoption of this resolution on the cross-border humanitarian assistance delivery mechanism,” said Linda Thomas Greenfield, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

“In extending the cross-border mechanism, we have ensured that food, water, shelter, and other critical humanitarian assistance will continue to reach the Syrian people,” she said. “We have ensured that shipments of medical equipment and treatments will not be cut off from a country facing a horrific cholera outbreak. And we have ensured that the humanitarian workers … will continue to do their heroic work.”

“But while this lifeline will continue to operate, so much more could have been done,” said Ambassador Thomas Greenfield. “Renewing this resolution should never have been a subject of debate. The debate we need to have is how to strengthen the mechanism to reach more people with more assistance.”

“We must show the Syrian people that we will continue to put their humanity first; that we will do everything in our power to increase predictable access to those in need,” she said. “Because right now, needs across all of Syria, from the northwest to the northeast, in all 14 governorates of Syria, are greater than they have ever been.”

“Even as humanitarian needs around the world have spiked, [The United States’] commitment to the Syrian people is unwavering,” said Ambassador Thomas Greenfield. “We have long called on the international community to provide generous support to the Syrian humanitarian appeal for the Syrian people... We once again urge the Assad regime to do what is necessary – after so many years and after so much violence – to end this brutal war and work towards a just and sustainable peace.”