Andrew Mitchell MP: We must preserve the UN Security Council mandate for cross-border aid into Syria
Just a week ago, I called on the UK government to work with the UN Security Council (UNSC) to allow lifesaving aid into Syria.
Despite my colleagues acting upon my calls, voting to renew the UN’s mandate to keep this aid flowing and urging all Security Council members to do the same, the UNSC has failed to renew the Syria cross-border resolution that would have ensured humanitarian aid continues to reach millions of people in Northwest Syria because of a veto from Russia.
There is simply no rationale for shrinking humanitarian access at a time when needs are rapidly increasing
I condemn in the strongest terms possible this deeply irresponsible veto and urge Russia to cooperate to find an immediate compromise. The alternative will have a tragic impact on the lives of Syrian civilians, most of them children and women in urgent need of life-saving assistance. There is simply no rationale for shrinking humanitarian access at a time when humanitarian needs are rapidly increasing.
In Northwest Syria, 93 per cent of the population are dependent on humanitarian assistance. In 2021, the UN-led cross-border response allowed humanitarian actors to reach over 2.4 million people a month in the northwest, providing food for 1.8 million people, nutrition assistance to 85,000 people, education for 78,000 children, access to life-saving dignity kits for 250,000 women and girls, and critical medical items and supplies to help people survive the cold winter months.
I urgently call on the Security Council to put people before politics and authorise cross-border humanitarian assistance for a minimum of 12 months.
Andrew Mitchell is the Conservative MP for Sutton Coldfield.
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