UN Extends Turkey’s Critical Aid to Syrian Rebel-Held North

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously on Monday to extend the key border crossing from Turkey to rebel-held Syria for aid deliveries for another six months. This decision was surprising as it received support from the Syria-ally, Russia, which in the past has abstained or vetoed resolutions on cross-border aid deliveries. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had warned that if the renewal of aid from Turkey to northwest Idlib didn’t happen, millions of Syrians might not survive the winter.

The resolution noted the dire humanitarian situation in Syria and has allowed for aid deliveries through the Bab al-Hawa crossing from Turkey to Northwest Syria for the next six months till July 10. The resolution emphasizes the need for improved cross-front-line aid deliveries and calls on U.N. member states to meet the urgent needs of the Syrian people, especially in view of theCOVID-19 pandemic.

Apart from the aid deliveries, Russia has also pushed for early recovery projects in Syria. At least 374 such projects have been implemented since January 2021, directly benefitting over 665,000 people. The resolution urged member states to expand activities to include providing water, sanitation, health, education, electricity, shelter and early recovery projects.

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