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United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, Imran Riza, and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Muhannad Hadi – Joint Statement on the killing of a humanitarian aid worker, Al Hol Camp, 12 January [EN/AR]

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Damascus and Amman, 12 January 2022

The United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Mr. Imran Riza, and the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Mr. Muhannad Hadi, express their sorrow over the tragic death of a Syrian aid worker killed in an armed attack at an Al Hol Camp health facility.

According to reports, on 11 January, an armed individual entered the health facility and killed a staff member of the local relief organization that is jointly run with an NGO. This abhorrent attack is a reminder that the security situation in north-east of Syria remains unacceptable. On behalf of the entire humanitarian community in Syria, Mr. Riza and Mr. Hadi send sincere condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the victim and call on all parties with influence to ensure appropriate security measures to allow humanitarian assistance to continue to be delivered in a safe and effective manner.

Over the past year, Al Hol has seen a significant increase in violence among residents, with a range of horrific attacks reported. Since January 2021 to date, the UN has received reports of 90 murders of Syrian and Iraqi camp residents, including at least two humanitarian workers. Many others have been severely injured.

Al Hol, the largest camp for refugees and internally displaced people in Syria, consists of about 56,000 people – more than half of whom are under the age of 18. Such violence places residents under extreme stress, harming their mental health and longer-term prospects.

The UN and other humanitarian organizations remain committed to mobilizing and delivering regular life-saving and essential aid to the camp but can only do so effectively when steps are taken to address persistent safety issues. Civilians in Al Hol need dignified, informed, and durable solutions to their displacement. Member States must continue to engage and be part of the answer. It is incumbent on all of us to work collectively towards resolving this issue and uphold the rights, dignity, and humanity of each individual living in Al Hol.

For further information:
Torsten Flyng, Strategic Communications Officer OCHA Regional Office for the Syrian Crisis, torsten.flyng@un.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.