The United Nations and Syrian Arabic Red Crescent (SARC) kicked off a joint aid operation on Saturday, delivering vital humanitarian assistance to 50,000 people in south-east Syria’s Rukban camp, near the Jordanian border.
In a statement welcoming the aid convoy, Secretary-General António Guterres recognized that while “the long-needed delivery is an important achievement, the overall humanitarian access to this informal desert camp remains wholly inadequate.”
As such, according to a UN news report, he called on all relevant actors “to ensure continued, full, safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to the tens of thousands of displaced Syrians in this remote area, and to all people in need throughout the country.”
“The population at Rukban has not received assistance since January this year, and they are increasingly desperate,” Mark Lowcock, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, recently told a Security Council meeting on the humanitarian situation in Syria.
“We are delivering food, sanitation and hygiene supplies, nutrition and health assistance in addition to other core relief items in cooperation with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent,” said Ali Al-Za’tari, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria.
The inter-agency aid operation is expected to take three to four days as it also conducts an emergency vaccination campaign “to protect some 10,000 children against Measles, Polio and other deadly disease” and undertake rapid needs assessments.
The convoy was meant to deliver assistance to Rukban camp on 27 October, but was postponed for security reasons.
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