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United Nations Security Council votes to scale back humanitarian assistance to millions of vulnerable Syrians

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We are deeply concerned that the United Nations Security Council has voted today to scale back humanitarian assistance to millions of acutely vulnerable people in Syria. The UN’s cross-border mechanism enables life-saving assistance to reach over four million people who are in need of humanitarian aid and can only be reached cross-border, rather than from within Syria. Today after weeks of negotiations, members of the UN Security Council have used their powers to force the removal of critical channels of aid that have supported the lives of millions of Syrian people, including the immediate disruption of half the lifesaving health response in northeast Syria.

This comes at a time where conflict and attacks on civilians, hospitals and schools in Idlib have forced more than 300,000 people to flee in just the last month, and harsh winter weather conditions are compounding the misery for Syrian families living without access to basic services or shelter. In Northeast Syria, where the cross-border lifeline used by the United Nations has been closed thanks to today’s vote, an estimated 1,650,000 people are reliant on humanitarian assistance. This is another unacceptable example of countries putting politics above people and will ultimately result in further unnecessary suffering.

Commenting organizations:

International Rescue Committee
Mercy Corps
Norwegian Refugee Council
People in Need
Save the Children
Syria Relief
World Vision International

Media Contacts: Vanessa Parra,, +1 917-525-0590 (NYC)

Mahmoud Shabeeb,, +962 79 146 39 03 (Amman, Jordan)