The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, stressed on Wednesday that “cross-border humanitarian operations conducted from Turkey remain the most efficient and predictable way to reach millions of people in need in Syria.”

This came in a statement by the UN official, before a session of the UN Security Council, held at the permanent headquarters of the UN in New York, on the developments of the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

The UN official warned that “the humanitarian needs in this country are greater than at any time since the conflict began in 2011.”

“I returned last week from a visit to Turkey, Syria and Lebanon, and this was my first mission to the region, and my main conclusion from the visit is that the humanitarian needs in Syria are greater than they have ever been, since the conflict began in 2011,” he told the members of the Security Council.

“An estimated 13.4 million people across Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance, which is a 21% increase compared to the previous year and the highest since 2017,” he added.

“Humanitarian needs tragically exceed the resources available in the United Nations humanitarian plan, which amount to $4.2 billion, as only 27 percent of the total required amount has been funded,” he added.

“And even if this total increases in the coming months, through the response and generosity of donors, the funding will not keep pace with the growing needs of the Syrians,” he warned.

“Cross-border operations conducted from Turkey remain the most efficient and predictable way to reach millions of people in need in Syria,” the UN official added.

Last July, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution extending the mechanism for the delivery of cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria for a year from the Bab al-Hawa crossing on the Turkish border.

Griffiths revealed, “A joint operation is currently being planned to provide humanitarian aid across the lines (ie, from Damascus) with the aim of providing more diverse assistance to people in need in northwestern Syria.”

The UN official did not specify a date for the start of this type of humanitarian operations inside Syria.

He pointed out that “the distribution of food supplies has resumed throughout Daraa Governorate (south) this week, as emergency aid has entered Daraa Al-Balad, and most of the displaced have returned to the area.”

He concluded his testimony by saying, “I have a very simple conclusion: Syria is stuck in a downward spiral, and the country will remain a place of tragedy as long as the conflict continues, and the need and suffering will continue to increase in the near term.”

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