GENEVA/ HONG KONG, 16 March 2016 – One hundred and two humanitarian agencies today urged sustained and unconditional humanitarian access to all Syrians.
As the parties to the conflict in Syria resume talks to end a war that now enters its sixth horrific year, there is renewed hope for peace. For an end to the suffering of millions of the innocent.
Two months ago our organizations appealed for urgent access to all those in desperate need inside Syria: for the lifting of sieges; for the full protection of civilians. Today, there are some encouraging signs of progress. The cessation of hostilities has allowed humanitarian organizations to rush more food and other relief to communities desperate for help.
But access has to go beyond a temporary lifting of seiges and checkpoints and allowing more aid convoys to move.
Humanitarian access and freedom of movement of civilians in Syria has to be sustained. It has to be unconditional. And it should include access to all people in need by whatever routes necessary.
The parties to this conflict and their international sponsors must from now on guarantee:
- Full access for humanitarian and medical workers to assess the wellbeing of civilians in all communities and treat those who are sick and injured without obstacle or restriction.
- Allowing all humanitarian aid, as required by international humanitarian law, to reach, unimpeded, those who urgently need it – including medical supplies, surgical equipment, and nutritional necessities.
- Support for an urgently needed nationwide immunization campaign for children.
These are practical actions that would mean the difference between life and death. All parties to the conflict can agree on them, now.
And in doing so, they can take another step to peace. Peace for Syria. The peace that Syrians so desperately deserve.