Jul 11, 2022 - World

UN mandate for aid deliveries to northern Syria expires

Displaced Syrians walk in a camp in northwestern Idlib province on April 30.
Displaced Syrians walk in a camp in northwestern Idlib province on April 30. Photo: Aaref Watad/AFP via Getty Images

Countries on the UN Security Council are scrambling to find a compromise that would extend the UN's mandate for humanitarian aid deliveries to more than 4 million people in rebel-held areas of northwest Syria.

Driving the news: The mandate expired Sunday — two days after Russia vetoed a vote on a one-year extension, and failed to garner enough votes on its own proposal for a six-month extension.

What they're saying: "Without the UN, 70% of food needs will go unmet. An entire generation is at risk," U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield tweeted Sunday after meeting with aid agencies.

  • "The UNSC decision will be a choice between life and death," she added.

The big picture: More than two dozen aid groups, including the International Rescue Committee and Save the Children, had warned that failing to renew the mandate for aid deliveries through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing from Turkey to northwest Idlib could result in a "humanitarian catastrophe."

  • The groups said that anything less than a year-renewal would "jeopardize the [humanitarian] response just ahead of the harsh winter months" in Syria.
“Just talking about the ending of humanitarian aid makes me feel anxious. My worries increase and I begin to imagine myself in the street and not getting my medicine. My family would have to resort to begging so we can afford to buy them privately."
A 42-year-old IRC client displaced in northern Syria
  • Russia has said it would veto any resolution that is longer than a six-month extension.

Flashback: The mandate expired in 2020, but was renewed a day later, per Reuters.

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