UN / SYRIA HUMANITARIAN

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30-Jan-2019 00:02:53
UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock told the Security Council that the Syrian were suffering a “cold hard winter” with severe shortages of all basic needs in the country, “from blankets to baby milk to bandages.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / SYRIA HUMANITARIAN
TRT: 2:53
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 30 JANUARY 2019, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

30 JANUARY 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Wide shot, Syrian ambassador joining meeting
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“Mr. President, the people of Syria are suffering a cold hard winter, with freezing temperatures, snowfalls and heavy rain resulting in flooding which is destroying shelters and forcing tens of thousands more people to move. Millions are living under tents or tarpaulins or in damaged buildings with no power or heating. There are severe shortages of all the basics – from blankets to baby milk to bandages.”
5. Med shot, Syrian ambassador
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“On 27 January, we received verbal approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Damascus for the convoy to proceed. Security guarantees have also been received from the Russian Federation and International Coalition Forces. Planning is now underway for loading of the trucks to begin before the end of this week, and for them to set off by 5 February. We call on all parties to ensure that this goes ahead without any further delay.”
7. Wide shot, Security Council
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“We are scaling up our efforts to respond in Al Hol. But people continue to arrive in critical condition, with many reporting that they were relocated involuntarily, that their documentation has been confiscated, that their movement continues to be restricted and that they would prefer to seek shelter with family members or acquaintances in Deir-ez-Zor. Once more I call on all parties to do their utmost to protect civilians, and to allow them freedom of movement to seek safety and basic services in a location of their choosing.”
9. Wide shot, Security Council
10. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Jaafari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“Here, I reaffirm that the Syrian Government is ready to reinforce its cooperation with the United Nations and its Member States, those who have honest intentions, to improve the humanitarian situation and support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Syria; and to provide a conducive environment for the safe and dignified return of refugees and displaced person to their homeland.”
11. Med shot, Lowcock at meeting
12. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Jaafari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“These measures being imposed by the United States of America and some of its allies amount to economic terrorism against the targeted Member States, including my country, and a method to destabilize them through imposing economic pressure after the failure of their political interferences, their aggressive military actions, and their support for terrorism.”
13. Wide shot, Security Council

STORYLINE:

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock told the Security Council that the Syrian were suffering a “cold hard winter” with severe shortages of all basic needs in the country, “from blankets to baby milk to bandages.”

Addressing the Council today (30 Jan), Lowcock said millions of Syrians were living in under tents or tarpaulins or in damaged buildings with no power or heating, “with freezing temperatures, snowfalls and heavy rain resulting in flooding which is destroying shelters and forcing tens of thousands more people to move.” He said the UN had raised 81 million USD allowing it to assist some 1.2 million people and stressed that continued support was critical to ensure all those in need could be reached.

The Humanitarian chief said the September agreement between Russia and Turkey was followed by a significant decrease in ground fighting and airstrikes in Idlib, however, he noted that January saw an increase in fighting between non-State armed groups, placing civilians at risk and resulting in injury and death. He reiterated the importance of sustaining the Russia-Turkey agreement and reminded the Council that a largescale military operation in Idlib would have catastrophic humanitarian implications.

Lowcock said some 42,000 people remained stranded in Rukban along the Syria-Jordan border in deteriorating conditions, with eight infants having reportedly died since last month. He said it was critical for parties to support a second convoy to Rukban, which last received humanitarian assistance early November.

The Emergency Relief Coordinator said the UN has been engaged on multiple fronts to ensure the launch of a convoy which would include more than 100 trucks, including by addressing concerns expressed by Russia and Syria about the security of the convoy and monitoring arrangements for aid distributions.

SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“On 27 January, we received verbal approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Damascus for the convoy to proceed. Security guarantees have also been received from the Russian Federation and International Coalition Forces. Planning is now underway for loading of the trucks to begin before the end of this week, and for them to set off by 5 February. We call on all parties to ensure that this goes ahead without any further delay.”

Lowcock expressed concern about the humanitarian impact of ongoing military operations in Der ez-Zor, where thousands have been displaced and an unknown number of people remain trapped under ISIL control. He said some 20,000 people, mostly women and children, have been displaced from the Hajin area to Al Hol camp in Hassakeh Governorate, adding that the UN had received reports of up to 25 children having died, either in transit or shortly after arriving at the camp.

SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations:
“We are scaling up our efforts to respond in Al Hol. But people continue to arrive in critical condition, with many reporting that they were relocated involuntarily, that their documentation has been confiscated, that their movement continues to be restricted and that they would prefer to seek shelter with family members or acquaintances in Deir-ez-Zor. Once more I call on all parties to do their utmost to protect civilians, and to allow them freedom of movement to seek safety and basic services in a location of their choosing.”

The Humanitarian chief called on countries to support financing for the immediate life-saving needs in Syria and to ensure the humanitarian programmes in the UN’s 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan are well-funded. He said the conference in Brussels on 13-14 March would be a critical marker in this regard.

Syrian ambassador Bashar Jaafari said his government has spared no effort since the beginning of the war in meeting the humanitarian needs of its people, which has enabled the UN to carry out its work over the years.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Bashar Jaafari, Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations:
“Here, I reaffirm that the Syrian Government is ready to reinforce its cooperation with the United Nations and its Member States, those who have honest intentions, to improve the humanitarian situation and support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Syria; and to provide a conducive environment for the safe and dignified return of refugees and displaced person to their homeland.”

Jaafari said the sustainable development and humanitarian tracks should not be separated, adding that countries’ stance on this issue showed their true intentions towards Syria.

The Syrian ambassador said ending the suffering of the Syrian people required a complete respect for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and an honest cooperation with the Syrian Government in combatting terrorism. Jaafari said it also required an end to the illegitimate foreign military presence by the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Turkey; and an end to the unilateral sanctions being imposed by the US and some of its allies which “amount to economic terrorism.” He said the sanctions aim to destabilize Syria “through imposing economic pressure after the failure of their political interferences, their aggressive military actions, and their support for terrorism.”
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