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U.N. approved cross-border aid helps 600,000 Syrians in six months
January 22, 2015 / 11:57 PM / 3 years ago

U.N. approved cross-border aid helps 600,000 Syrians in six months

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations said on Thursday that 54 aid shipments to Syria had been made since the U.N. Security Council authorized some cross-border routes in July, supplying food to 600,000 people, along with water and medical supplies.

A Syrian refugee receives aid from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Batroun, northern Lebanon January 13, 2015. REUTERS/Omar Ibrahim

In his latest monthly report to the council, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations and partners had made 40 shipments from Turkey and 14 from Jordan. Deliveries could not be made from Iraq due to insecurity, he said.

The Security Council approved humanitarian access without Syrian government consent into rebel-held areas at four border crossings from Turkey, Iraq and Jordan. Western diplomats said at the time that nearly 2 million people could be reached.

Ban’s report on Syria aid access, obtained by Reuters, said food assistance had reached 596,000 people, non-food items had been delivered to 522,000, water and sanitation supplies had reached more than 280,000 and medical supplies some 262,000.

Deliveries at those four border crossings added to existing efforts in coordination with the Syrian government, which reach several million people a month.

But Ban said the situation has continued to “deteriorate rapidly” as Syria’s civil war is about to enter its fifth year.

“Widespread fighting across the country, administrative hurdles, and lack of agreement from the parties continued to constrain humanitarian access across the country, affecting the humanitarian capacity to deliver at planned scaled,” Ban said.

He said some 12.2 million Syrian need assistance, while 3.8 million people have fled the country and about 7.6 million in Syria are displaced.

“It is completely unacceptable that the people of Syria continue to face grave abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law by the parties to the conflict and that they are denied access to the basic requirements for their survival,” Ban’s report said.

More than 200,000 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict, which began in March 2011 with popular protests against President Bashar al-Assad and spiralled into civil war after a crackdown by security forces. Militant group Islamic State has also seized swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Grant McCool

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