‘Biggest numbers ever’ are needed, warns UN aid chief – Global affairs

Martin Griffiths, Humanitarian Affairs Director and Emergency Coordinator, thanked donors for their contributions – totaling nearly $6.7 billion – which includes $2.4 billion for 2023 and beyond.

However, he noted that commitments for 2022 are less than half of the United Nations’ $10.5 billion funding request.

This is the biggest appeal ever for the Syrian crisis, because we have the largest number of people in need ever.“, he said, referring to the dollar figure he formerly called”considerable amount. ”

Food, water, electricity

The head of UN aid cited a warning by the World Food Program (WFP) further cuts to their program could materialize in the coming months, given rising global food prices and stagnant funding levels.

WFP has been forced to gradually reduce the monthly ration across Syria. According to a recent news release, a 13% ration cut is now looming in the northwest of the country, where people will start getting food rations that mean 1,177 kilocalories ⁠— just over half of the recommended daily amount.

Meanwhile, Mr. Griffiths warned Security Council that water levels in the Euphrates River, home to about 5.5 million people in Syria, are falling to extremely low levels, putting both access to drinking water and electricity supplies at risk.

“Without electricity, irrigation pumps cannot work, hospitals and other vital services cannot support and people have to buy drinking water, further reducing their purchasing power,” he said.

Cross-border aid

Reporting on the UN’s efforts to expand humanitarian transit from within Syria to where it is most needed in the country, Mr. Griffiths said. four such convoys have reached their destination in 2022with the fourth reaching about 40,000 people in the northwest of the country on May 16.

Another crossroads mission is currently scheduled to Ras al Ayn, in the northeast, to deliver COVID-19 vaccines, childhood vaccines and medicines to treat leishmaniasis.

However, he stressed activities cannot currently replace the size or scope of large-scale cross-border activity still taking place across a single border point whose reauthorization the Council will consider. review in the coming weeks.

Tensions over the issue have been running high in the Security Council over the years, with members ultimately voting to cut three of the four allowed intersections.

The last authorized point, the Bab al-Hawa crossing on the Turkish border, is the final point re-authorize in July 2021.

‘Obligation to help’

Also briefed to the Council was Farida Almouslem of the Syrian American Medical Association, who shared her experience working as an obstetrician and gynecologist in Aleppo, calling on the Council to reauthorize the program. important cross-border aid.

“I witnessed hundreds of atrocities that are still fresh in my mind,” she said, recalling the tearful pleas of a woman begging for help to get pregnant again after lost his four children to a barrel bomb.

Her hospital was repeatedly targeted by airstrikes, cluster bombs, barrel bombs, and bunker bombs, including some containing chlorine gas.

Syrians across the country are suffering, and each one of us has an obligation to help”, she stressed, noting that additional humanitarian funds are needed to prevent further hospital closures, provide vital nutritional support and strengthen the capacity of the Syrian health system.

She must also commit more resources to provide quality mental health services throughout Syria, citing suicide rates, domestic and gender violence, and substance abuse. increasingly increasing.

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