•  SyriaUK  •  info@syriauk.org  •  www.facebook.com/SyriaUKorg  •  @SyriaUK

Monthly Archive

Search Syria Solidarity UK

Friday, 16 February 2018

UN agencies have the power to deliver aid to Eastern Ghouta NOW

  • The UN is failing Syria’s civilians.
  • After months of waiting, this UN convoy only had 1 month of food for 1 out of every 50 people.
  • While UN airdrops fed 100,000 people in Deir Ezzor for 1½ years, the UN has never once dropped aid to besieged Eastern Ghouta.
  • Drop aid now.

On 14 February, a UN and Syrian Red Crescent humanitarian aid convoy took food for 7,200 civilians for one month to Al-Nishabieh in besieged Eastern Ghouta. It was the first UN aid convoy to Eastern Ghouta since November. There are about 400,000 people trapped in Eastern Ghouta. This aid delivery was a drop in an ocean of need.

Medical supplies such as painkillers were included in Wednesday’s convoy, but medications needed to treat chronic illnesses were not, local council member Abu Saleh told Syria Direct.

UN OCHA tweeted: ‘If Nashabiyeh East Ghouta is a sample of communities in need, then the situation is far graver than imagined.’

According to OCHA’s report, ‘in Nashabieh, the UN technical team of the World Food Programme, UNICEF and the World Health Organization found a tired and exhausted population following long months of isolation. Families are forced to skip meals, some only having one meal a day. A young ailing girl informed the team she has been eating yogurt and nothing else.’

Jakob Kern, Country Director of the UN’s World Food Programme in Syria, tweeted: ‘We need much more such convoys. Fighting has to stop to deliver much needed aid to all civilians in need.’

The day before, 13 February, Jakob Kern tweeted impressions from the World Food Programme’s team in Deir Ezzor: ‘Abu Sufian told WFP: “Your airdrops kept us alive. We had at least some food to keep us going during the siege.”’

The UN successfully airdropped enough food and medical aid to besieged Deir Ezzor to sustain as many as 100,000 people for a year and a half.

In that time, the UN’s World Food Programme completed 309 airdrops of food and medical aid.

There have been ZERO aid airdrops to Eastern Ghouta.

UN agencies were given a mandate to plan aid airdrops to all besieged areas by the International Syria Support Group in June 2016. Today’s starvation in Eastern Ghouta is in part the result of a dereliction of duty by UN officials who didn’t want to rock the boat.

Eastern Ghouta was an agricultural area before the war. Space is available for drop zones.

Whether by road or air, UNSC resolutions empower UN agencies to deliver aid cross-line WITHOUT Assad regime permission.

Load the trucks. Drive them to the checkpoints in front of the cameras of the world’s media.

Load the planes. If necessary use JPADS remote-guided parachutes as in Deir EzzorDrop aid NOW.


What legal power do UN agencies have to deliver aid inside Syria?

UN humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners are authorised to use routes across conflict lines in order to ensure that humanitarian assistance, including medical and surgical supplies, reaches people in need throughout Syria through the most direct routes, with notification to the Syrian authorities.

This means that Syrian authorities, upon receipt of notification, do not have a legal right to stop UN agencies delivering humanitarian assistance across conflict lines.

UN agencies have a legal right to declare that they are going to deliver aid to Eastern Ghouta, and the Assad regime then has no right to stop them.

Here is how that is set out in UN Security Council resolutions:

On 19 December 2017, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2393 renewing legal authorisation for cross-border and cross-line humanitarian access in Syria by UN agencies. The details of the authorisation are set out in paragraphs 2 and 3 of the earlier UN Security Council Resolution 2165 (adopted 14 July 2014).

Paragraph 2 of Resolution 2393 states that the Security Council:

2.   Decides to renew the decisions in paragraphs 2 and 3 of Security Council resolution 2165 (2014) for a further period of twelve months, that is, until 10 January 2019;

And those paragraphs 2 and 3 of Resolution 2165 state that the Security Council:

2.   Decides that the United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners are authorized to use routes across conflict lines and the border crossings of Bab al-Salam, Bab al-Hawa, Al Yarubiyah and Al-Ramtha, in addition to those already in use, in order to ensure that humanitarian assistance, including medical and surgical supplies, reaches people in need throughout Syria through the most direct routes, with notification to the Syrian authorities, and to this end stresses the need for all border crossings to be used efficiently for United Nations humanitarian operations;

3.   Decides to establish a monitoring mechanism, under the authority of the United Nations Secretary-General, to monitor, with the consent of the relevant neighbouring countries of Syria, the loading of all humanitarian relief consignments of the United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners at the relevant United Nations facilities, and any subsequent opening of the consignments by the customs authorities of the relevant neighbouring countries, for passage into Syria across the border crossings of Bab al-Salam, Bab al-Hawa, Al Yarubiyah and Al-Ramtha, and with notification by the United Nations to the Syrian authorities, in order to confirm the humanitarian nature of these relief consignments.

No comments:

Post a Comment