While two additional border crossing were agreed by the Government of Syria following the earthquake, the UN and aid agencies have warned these alone cannot deliver aid at the scale and speed required.
Save the Children is calling on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to reconvene immediately to reauthorize what is currently the key route for lifesaving aid for millions of people.
Kathryn Achilles, Director of Advocacy, Communications, Campaigns and Media for Syria at Save the Children, said:
“Make no mistake, the Council’s failure to reauthorise this crossing risks the lives of hundreds of thousands of children – children who have known nothing but conflict and life in camps. Following February’s deadly earthquakes, what we need now more than ever is more access, not less.
“Put simply, closure of this access point equates to hundreds of thousands of children not knowing where their next meal is coming from, while leaving their parents racked with anxiety about what drastic measures they may be forced to take to feed their families. Chronic malnutrition has been rising for years and child labour and child marriage are widespread. The Bab-al Hawa crossing is essential to not only meet the most immediate needs of food, water and shelter, but also to support markets, create jobs and livelihoods so families are not continually living on the brink.
“Even before the earthquakes, families were struggling to put food on the tables with the average monthly wage only covering a quarter of family’s food needs.[i] In the Northwest, the lives of millions of children are entirely dependent on aid through the Bab al-Hawa crossing. The UN Security Council must urgently reconvene and reverse this fatal decision.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Holly Robertson on 0414546656 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTES TO EDITORS