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UN chief calls for more humanitarian access to Syria

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the Syrian situation "remains a living nightmare" [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 March, 2021

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In a statement marking 10 years of war in Syria, the UN has called for more humanitarian access in the country.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called for more humanitarian access to Syria and a Security Council consensus on the matter, in a statement marking 10 years of war in the country.

"The situation remains a living nightmare. Some 60 percent of Syrians are at risk of hunger this year," Guterres said.

"It is imperative that we continue to reach all Syrians in need of humanitarian assistance. More humanitarian access is needed.

"Intensified cross-line and cross-border deliveries are essential to reach everyone in need everywhere. This is why I have repeatedly urged the Security Council to achieve consensus."

According to the West, deliveries of aid are not working partly because of bureaucracy imposed by Damascus and its desire to ensure that no aid reaches armed groups.

In July, thanks to its UN Security Council veto, Russia imposed a drastic reduction to just one in the number of border crossings authorized without Damascus's approval.

The authorization expires in July, and Russia has already hinted that it will not allow its extension to the frustration of the West that say the crossing is essential for an international aid.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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