Displaced Syrians sit with belongings in the back of a truck arriving to the city of Idlib. AFP
UN Security Council members clashed on Wednesday over humanitarian needs in war-torn Syria, weeks after the group’s contentious decision to halve the number of border crossing points for aid.
With UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warning that medical supplies unable to reach the needy and tensions may be mounting because of "the inadequate humanitarian response,” Britain and the United States accused Russia and China of cutting away at a lifeline for millions of Syrians. China, in turn, said its critics were politicizing aid.
The jabs came as hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled during a more than month-long Syrian government offensive in the northwestern province of Idlib, where al-Qaida-linked rebels have their last stronghold in the country. Syrian troops this week captured one of the largest and most strategic rebel-held towns in the area.
An estimated 20,000 people in Idlib have been displaced in just the last two days, Lowcock said, calling the violence in Syria’s northwest "deplorable.”
"Under current conditions, humanitarian responders do not have the capacity to meet the level of need we are seeing,” he said.
In 2014, the Security Council began authorizing aid to Syria through four border crossings. The UN has said it supported about 4 million people in northwest and northeast Syria via cross-border aid deliveries.
But council members split late last year over renewing the system.
Germany, Belgium and Kuwait, backed by the U.S., Britain, France and other council nations, initially wanted to add a fifth crossing point.
But key Syrian ally Russia, joined by China, vetoed that plan. They argued the situation in Syria had changed enough to warrant cutting two crossing points, both on the Turkey-Syria border, and working more closely with the Syrian government to handle aid. Their proposal ultimately prevailed in a vote hours before the Jan. 10 renewal deadline.
Now, 400,000 medical items are stuck on trucks in Iraq, where a crossing point closed, Lowcock said.
An escalation in attacks on northwest Syria has displaced more than 150,000 people in the past week, the UN said on Tuesday, as the regime and Russia stepped up bombardment.
The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, which is hosted by the World Health Organisation (WHO), says $16.1 billion are new commitments to address COVID-19, $2.2 billion is new money not linked to the coronavirus, and $2.3 billion is new funding for existing programmes.
The Syrian regime and Russia have stepped up their deadly raids on the Idlib region since late April, despite an international deal intended to prevent a full-scale offensive on the area of some three million people.
Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE is one of the world’s safest and most secure countries due to the readiness of security personnel to keep pace with global advancements and deploy the latest technologies in the field.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced that it conducted 151,096 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, using state-of-the-art medical testing equipment.
UAE leaders offered condolences to Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, Emir of Kuwait following the death of Sheikha Fadhaa Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah.
Filipino children must be accompanied by their Filipino citizen parents while it is only unaccompanied minors repatriated by the Philippine diplomatic and consular missions who are going to be allowed to board aircraft.