The UN mission is due to expire on July 10th, through which large quantities of aid supplies arrive in Syria every day. The EU warns of drastic consequences if this lifeline is not preserved.
Shortly before a possible end of the UN aid for millions of Syrians, the EU commissioner for crisis management warned of a disaster for the people. The background to this is a dispute in the UN Security Council over keeping a border crossing open for aid supplies and the influence of the Syrian leadership on their distribution.
“Failure to renew this lifeline via Bab al-Hawa would have enormously dramatic consequences for millions of people,” said Janez Lenarcic in the Turkish town of Reyhanli near the Syrian border. “This transition must be preserved.”
Mission is due to end on July 10th
Bab al-Hawa is a border crossing in northwest Syria, through which large quantities of aid deliveries from Turkey to the civil war country arrive every day. The UN mission was launched in 2014 and is due to expire on July 10th.
An extension in the Security Council threatens to fail because of the Russian veto. Three more border crossings have already been closed at the instigation of the Russian leadership. Moscow argues the supplies could also reach rebel areas via the Syrian capital Damascus. Many experts reject this proposal. Control over a significant part of the aid would significantly strengthen President Bashar al-Assad’s position vis-à-vis political opponents.
According to UN estimates, around four million Syrians live in northwest Syria. Most of them are displaced people living in camps, half-finished houses and similar poor shelters. Almost all of them depend on humanitarian aid, not least the United Nations. 1.3 million people alone receive food from the World Food Program (WFP).