The United Nations began a four-week operation on Sunday, delivering lifesaving assistance to hundreds of thousands of Syrians in desperate need, from across the border in neighbouring Jordan.
An estimated 369 trucks carrying over 11,200 metric tonnes of aid for over 650,000 people will be involved in the special aid operation at the Jaber-Nassib crossing with Jordan, which only re-opened in October.
Six UN agencies and one international non-governmental organization (NGO) are participating in back-to-back trans-shipment deliveries that will provide one-month’s-worth of supplies.
Anders Pedersen, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan, called it “a major logistical operation” to “mitigate the Syrian people’s suffering.”
“We greatly appreciate the cooperation of the Jordanian authorities for their full support and commitment in making this a reality,” he stated.
The last cross-border operation to Syria from Jordan under UN Resolution 2393, passed in the Security Council, was on 25 June. However, with the Syrian Government retaking control of its southern border in July, this exceptional aid delivery falls outside the mandate of that resolution.
Syrians urgently need food, shelter, water, medical care, livelihood and sanitation. “We are working closely with our UN partners inside Syria to ensure this assistance reaches those who need it most,” Mr. Pedersen said.
Across Syria, humanitarian actors, including UN agencies and NGOs, are doing everything they can to reach some 13 million people in need – including some 6.2 million internally displaced persons, wherever they are, in both government and non-government-controlled areas, in line with the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality, and the imperative to save lives.
Since march 2011, Syria has been in the throes of a conflict that has forced more than half of all Syrians to flee their homes.
According to the UN humanitarian wing, OCHA, an estimated five million Syrians have fled the country while more than six million others are internally displaced. The crisis, described as the worst humanitarian disaster of the modern era, has left more than 13 million in need of assistance, and caused untold suffering for Syrian men, women and children.