International humanitarian aid and development agency, GOAL, has appealed to the UN Security Council to vote to keep the vital aid crossing at the Bab al Hawa border between Turkey and Syria open at a crucial meeting today (Friday).
GOAL said the crossing – the only remaining international corridor access point for UN humanitarian assistance into Syria – must be kept open in order to provide a lifeline to 2.4 million people in need of aid every month.
The UN Security Council voted unanimously in July 2014 to adopt Resolution 2165 which authorised the use of four border crossings into Syria for humanitarian aid deliveries – at Bab al Salam and Bab al Hawa in Turkey, Al Yarubiyah in Iraq, and Al Ramtha in Jordan.
However, in 2020, the number of access points authorised by the UN Security Council for humanitarian deliveries into Syria was reduced to the Bab al Hawa crossing on Syria’s northwestern border with Turkey. The Council members will vote to keep the crossing open today.
Jeannie Zielinski, GOAL Syria Response Country Director, said: “Today, the level of humanitarian need in Syria is much higher than it was in 2014, while the number of border crossing points through which UN agencies can deliver aid for Syria’s conflict-affected communities have been reduced to just one.
“UN agencies and their implementing partners, including GOAL, are able to deliver humanitarian aid for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable families in Northwest Syria through the Bab Al Hawa crossing every month. Over 2.4 million people in this region are able to put food on the table thanks to the aid transported from Turkey via this humanitarian corridor, authorised and vigorously monitored by the UN.”
“GOAL and other humanitarian NGOs that work in Northwest Syria are already operating at full capacity to deliver assistance to millions of people in need. However, this cannot match the extent of UN agencies’ reach if the aid transport hub at Bab al Hawa is deauthorized. For 2.4 million people, this presents a devastating scenario, as the UN will no longer be able to deliver critical, lifesaving supplies.”
GOAL and other international agencies highlighted the need to keep the Bab Al Hawa crossing open for UN-coordinated aid in a submission to the Irish parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence last March.
GOAL highlighted that Ireland, a temporary UN Security Council member and co-penholder with Norway on the Syria brief – has an opportunity to represent the voice of humanitarianism at this high-level diplomatic forum.