Speaking from Hatay, along the Turkish side of the border with Syria, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, said that displaced civilians were “struggling to survive in horrific conditions”.
Military activity in the region has displaced nearly one million people since December, mostly women and children. Mr. Lowcock painted a picture of traumatized, cold people, many of whom forced to sleep in the open. “Despite extraordinary efforts by humanitarian organizations, aid is not reaching everyone who needs it”, the UN relief chief stated. “What civilians need is a ceasefire. What civilians need is for international humanitarian law to be respected”, he spelled out.
Lowcock said that the UN is sending hundreds of trucks from Turkey into northwest Syria loaded with food, water and shelter each month. “This is saving lives”, he maintained, adding, “it must continue, and it must be scaled up”.
With an estimated 2.8 million people in northwest Syria need humanitarian assistance, Mr. Lowcock explained that $500 million would help 1.1 million of the most vulnerable.
He noted that the United States had just pledged $108 million and that an additional $300 million has been received or pledged by donors.
“We are determined to stand by the people of Syria”, concluded the Emergency Relief Coordinator.