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Syria: UN chief welcomes reopening of life-saving aid corridor

In a statement, UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the resumption of deliveries after agreement was reached with the Syrian Government.

The Bab al-Hawa crossing closed in July, after the Security Council failed to reach consensus on two competing resolutions which would have renewed the main aid corridor.

Around four million Syrians in the last rebel-held northwestern enclave rely on the lifeline, which was established in 2014 through Security Council authorisation.

‘Central’ to UN aid effort

“Though our humanitarian operations have continued to assist millions of people in need in northwest Syria, the Bab al-Hawa crossing has long been central to the UN’s efforts to deliver aid in the northwest”, the statement said.

The Bab al-Hawa border crossing will be accessible for the next six months, following the Government agreement. The deal also authorizes the UN to use Bab al-Salam and Al-Ra’ee border crossings for an additional three months. 

According to news reports, Tuesday’s 17-truck convoy carried medicine, food supplements, stationary supplies and medical equipment into the Idlib region.

‘Greater efforts’ needed

More than 80 per cent of aid into the region travels through Bab al-Hawa. The other two crossings are longer and poorly maintained, presenting major challenges for humanitarian delivery. 

“With more people than ever requiring humanitarian aid in Syria, the Secretary-General underscores the need for ever greater efforts to be made to ensure we reach all those who need it”, the statement concluded.

Trucks with humanitarian aid travel from Turkey to the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing in Syria in December 2022.
© UNOCHA/Ammer Al-Najar

Trucks with humanitarian aid travel from Turkey to the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing in Syria in December 2022.

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