Check against delivery
I thank Mr. Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, for his comprehensive briefing. I also thank Mr. Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council for his valuable insights.
The provision of aid to Syrian civilians remains a priority, particularly in the northwest and south of Syria. This also applies to north-eastern Syria, where the recent Daesh offensive in Al-Hasakah has resulted in a wave of internal displacement and impeded the delivery of humanitarian aid. In addition to the repercussions of hostilities on the humanitarian situation, the water service disruptions, the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the severe cold of this winter, have also exacerbated the suffering of millions of Syrians.
With so many humanitarian crises accumulating in Syria for more than a decade, I would like to focus my statement today on the following matters:
First, in relation to humanitarian operations, we welcome the continuation of the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria for an additional six months, until July of this year, based on resolution 2585. We commend last year’s resumption of cross-line delivery of humanitarian assistance into north-west Syria for the first time since 2017. As a result, two shipments of aid from the World Food Program have been distributed, the last of which commenced on the 16th of this month, in coordination with the Syrian government. We also support the development and implementation of the United Nations’ six-month plan to regularly deliver and distribute humanitarian aid across conflict lines to North-West Syria.
Second, the provision of medical supplies to the Syrian people remains a priority, including the provision of vaccines against the pandemic. The percentage of people fully vaccinated against the pandemic is less than five percent. This requires a greater focus from the international community, especially in the camps. On our part, my country has sent more than ninety-seven tons of medical aid to Syria, in addition to more than two hundred thousand doses of vaccines. We have also completed a vaccination program for nearly twelve thousand Syrian refugees in the UAE-Jordanian refugee camp in Murajib Al Fhood and other camps in Jordan.
Third, we encourage the UN and Council members to put more effort toward supporting the early recovery of civilian infrastructure and vital sectors, including the education and health sectors, which have been impacted by the conflict. Early recovery will not only help in supporting the provision of basic services, but also in supporting the economy, thus reducing the assistance required to meet urgent needs in Syria. Regarding an increase in international support for early recovery projects, we hope that efforts will be made to address the issues that are obstructing the financing of these projects.
In all facets of the humanitarian response, Syrian women must be supported and protected, and their resilience must be strengthened, especially in camps, where women and girls are at risk of facing sexual and gender-based violence.
In conclusion, we affirm that the only way to end the human suffering inflicted upon the Syrian people is through making progress towards the political track. This requires a focus on reaching a political solution in accordance with resolution 2254. The UAE will continue to support the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Geir Pedersen, and his initiatives in this regard.
I thank you.