Syria: Statement by High Representative Borrell and Commissioner Lenarčič on the renewal of cross border humanitarian deliveries

High Representative Josep Borrell and Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič issued the following statement:

“On 12 July the United Nations Security Council extended for 6 months, until 10 January 2023, the authorisation for the UN to use the crossing point of Bab al-Hawa from Turkey to Syria for humanitarian deliveries, with a further extension of an additional 6 months requiring a separate resolution.

This is an important outcome for the 4.1 million Syrian men, women and children, including 2.8 million internally displaced, in north-west Syria who depend on the vital humanitarian assistance delivered through this mechanism to help them survive. At the same time we urge the members of the UNSC to uphold their commitment to renew the resolution for 6 months in December to ensure cross border assistance is sustained in the midst of winter.

While the conflict lasts, there is no adequate alternative to cross-border assistance in order to meet the increasing humanitarian needs in Syria. The extension of the use of Bab al-Hawa crossing point is a humanitarian imperative to preserve the functioning of a critical humanitarian lifeline for millions of Syrians.

The European Union will continue to advocate for all parties to depoliticise and allow unimpeded and continued delivery of humanitarian aid to all those in need. EU-funded humanitarian aid makes use of all modalities, delivering aid to people in north-west Syria across the border as well as cross-line from Damascus. It supports emergency assistance as well as early recovery, such as restoring access to sanitation clean water, shelter or health in a more sustainable and dignified manner, throughout the country. 

The EU and its Member States remain the largest donors in support of Syrians in Syria and across the region since the beginning of the crisis in 2011, mobilising over €27.4 billion in humanitarian, stabilisation and resilience assistance. The EU will continue to do its utmost to provide assistance to Syrians in need based on the humanitarian principles.

The European Union calls again for a sustainable solution to the Syrian conflict through a genuine, inclusive political transition in line with UNSC resolution 2254 and restates its support to the efforts of UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen, including his steps-for-steps approach.