UN Aid Chief to Security Council: Syria Is Bleeding

UN aid trucks arrive in the Syrian town of Madaya, which has been slowly starving since October 2015. Photo: OCHA/G. Seifo
UN aid trucks arrive in the Syrian town of Madaya, which has been slowly starving since October 2015. Photo: OCHA/G. Seifo

In his appeal to the Security Council, a top United Nations relief official called on the global body’s primary organ for maintenance of peace and security to act immediately to end the bloodshed in Syria so that humanitarian assistance is able to reach those who desperately need it.

“Syria is bleeding. Its citizens are dying. We all hear their cry for help. As humanitarians we are doing all we can,” UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien told the 15-member Council on Thursday.

He added that last week, even as world leaders discussed Syria at high-level meetings and during the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate, violence intensified in the war-torn middle-eastern country and more civilians and aid workers were killed.

Courtesy: UN News Centre

“It is time to place blame. It is time this Council stops tolerating the utter disregard for the most basic provisions of international humanitarian law,” Mr. O’Brien underscored.

According to the UN, the city of Aleppo is the worst affected location in the country, where according to estimates, since the 22 September announcement by the Syrian Ministry of Defence that it would launch an offensive there, some 320 civilians were killed and 765 injured in the first days. It is particularly concerning that over 100 children have been killed.

“These are not simply numbers to be added to a tally, these are individuals, family lives that we have collectively failed to save,” lamented Mr. O’Brien, who is also the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

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Rakesh Raman