GOAL, has welcomed news that Ireland is to play a key UN Security Council role leading negotiations to maintain a crucial humanitarian aid corridor between Turkey and North West Syria.
GOAL CEO Siobhan Walsh said today: “As a co-penholder, with Norway, on behalf of the UN Security Council for the Syria humanitarian file, Ireland will no doubt be strong in pursuit of guaranteeing humanitarian access and the protection of civilians and humanitarian aid workers.”
The deadline for the mandate to maintain the humanitarian aid crossing into Syria at the Bab al Hawa border gate in Turkey’s Hatay province is July 10th. Ms. Walsh said if the UN Security Council votes not to renew this last remaining cross-border humanitarian aid corridor, UN organisations and NGOs will be severely limited in their efforts to deliver assistance to conflict-affected populations in North West Syria.
She said: “While GOAL confronts immediate human need in North West Syria, we rely on the international community to address the root causes of this crisis. With Ireland on the UN Security Council, we have a loud voice for multilateralism and humanitarian protection, and we need to use all our influence to ensure that the Security Council does everything it can to enable the rapid and effective delivery of essential aid.”
Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, travelled to the Turkish-Syrian border last week and was briefed on the practical dynamics of delivering cross-border humanitarian assistance in meetings with Turkish officials and with representatives of UN agencies and NGOs that work in North West Syria, including GOAL.
March 15th will mark the tenth anniversary of the brutal Syrian conflict. The total number of Syrian people in dire need of humanitarian assistance and protection has increased from 11 million to 13 million over the past year.
GOAL is one of the biggest humanitarian actors operating in North West Syria and last year supported more than one million internally displaced and conflict-affected people with food, water services, and emergency relief.
Ms. Walsh said that the conditions in North West Syria are very concerning, with the chronic humanitarian situation compounded by the closure of one of two remaining humanitarian corridors last July; a surge in cases of COVID-19; economic collapse, which has led to a huge hike in the price of food; and the harsh winter conditions.