Too early to judge Syria’s response to call for immediate humanitarian access, says UN refugee agency

4 October 2013

United Nations agencies are hoping to quickly gain more humanitarian access to the millions of people in Syria affected by the civil war raging there following the Security Council’s call two days ago to the Government to immediately allow aid deliveries across the front lines.

But it was still too early to early to judge the Government’s response to the Council’s call, contained in a presidential statement which also called on all parties in the conflict to agree on humanitarian pauses in the fighting including along “key routes” for relief convoys, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Melissa Fleming told a news briefing in Geneva.

She said UNHCR had so far received just 47 per cent of the $1.5 billion sought to assist the 2 million Syrian refugees driven into neighbouring countries by the conflict, which has also displaced some 4.5 million people internally.

More than 100,000 people have been killed since opposition protesters first sought the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad in March, 2011.

On Wednesday the Council said it was “appalled” by the deepening humanitarian tragedy in Syria. “The magnitude of the humanitarian tragedy caused by the conflict in Syria requires immediate action to facilitate safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance” across the entire country, the 15-member body said in the presidential statement.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

UN Security Council urges all sides in Syrian crisis to immediately provide access for humanitarian aid

Gravely concerned by the deepening “humanitarian tragedy” in Syria, the United Nations Security Council today urged the Syrian Government to immediately allow cross-border aid deliveries and called on all parties to the conflict to agree on humanitarian pauses in the fighting, including along “key routes” for relief convoys.