Humanitarian Coordinator briefs Security Council on pressing needs in Syria

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Valerie Amos briefing the Security Council regarding the situation in Syria via teleconference from Geneva.

UN agencies and their partners will need an additional $3 billion to meet the humanitarian needs of people affected by the Syrian crisis, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council on Tuesday.

Valerie Amos, who briefed via teleconference from Geneva, detailed numerous bureaucratic, logistical and financial challenges facing those assisting millions of Syrians in the country and the region.

"We need designated empowered interlocutors so that agencies can engage with someone with the necessary authority to address constraints. Lifting bureaucratic constraints, as already mentioned. The granting of free passage of medical supplies and demilitarizing medical facilities. We need prior notification to civilians and aid convoys of military offensives. We need designation of priority humanitarian routes, including across front lines, to allow safe passage of convoys. We need the use of humanitarian pauses in fighting to allow access to people and, as appropriate, cross-border operations. And crucially, we need the funding to support our work: an additional $3.1 billion to meet the needs of people in Syria and neighbouring countries for the rest of this year."

Ms. Amos said nearly seven million Syrians require urgent humanitarian assistance, while the number of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries is approaching two million.

She added that only 14 international NGOs are allowed to operate in Syria, and while the number of national partners has risen to nearly 70, problems persist in allowing them to work in areas of greatest need.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’42″

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