Security Council members reiterate call for increased humanitarian access
During a meeting on the situation in the Middle East on 22 July, some Member States expressed concern at the continued suffering of civilians in Syria and called for the implementation of resolution 2165 (2014) cross line/cross border humanitarian access. The Security Council members also welcomed the appointment of a new Special Envoy and Deputy Special Envoy for Syria, hoping that they would help bring about a political settlement.
WFP airlifts food aid to displaced families in north eastern Syria
On 22 July, the World Food Programme (WFP) started airlifting food for a total of 50,000 internally displaced people in Syria’s north eastern Al Hassakeh governorate as food deliveries by road are blocked. As part of the relief operation, 23 WFP-chartered flights will transport critically needed food items as well as life-saving medicines from the Damascus to Qamishli airport. “The dire humanitarian situation in the governorate is rapidly deteriorating as more and more families are pushed further into food insecurity,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP’s Regional Emergency Coordinator for the Syria crisis.
UN agencies call for global action to protect children against polio in Syria and the region
In a report released on 22 July, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF announced the completion of the first phase of the biggest polio vaccination campaign ever undertaken in the history of the Middle East. Twenty-five million children under the age of five were reached in seven countries in 37 rounds. According to the agencies, 38 cases of polio have been confirmed in Syria with 765,000 Syrian children living in besieged areas. The report notes that polio vaccination coverage has dramatically declined in Syria from an average of 99% to 52%. “Polio has forced its way back into Syria. We got to a point where we had to work with very limited resources to defeat what had been a long forgotten enemy in this region: one that can travel fast, infecting children not just in war-torn Syria but across the region,” said Chris Maher, WHO Manager for Polio Eradication and Emergency Support.
CEDAW adopts recommendations on protection of rights of women and girls
At the conclusion of its 58th session on 21 July, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) adopted a series of recommendations on Syria to ensure the full implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Reminding Syrian authorities of their obligations under humanitarian, refugee and criminal law to ensure protection for women and girls, the Committee urged them to allow independent access for UN entities to all areas, including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to monitor and document human rights violations perpetrated against the civilian population, including women and girls. In its recommendations, the Committee also urged the Syrian government to revive peace negotiations and ensure the meaningful and inclusive participation of women holding different political views at all stages of the peace process and reconstruction initiatives. http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=INT%2fCEDAW%2fOCR%2f58%2f22163&Lang=en
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WHO delivers medicines and medical supplies to Dar’a governorate
Dar’a, Syria, 20 July – WHO has provided the health authorities in the Dar’a governorate with 25 metric tonnes of life-saving, chronic disease medicines, intravenous fluids and multivitamins for children. This was done in response to critical health needs of nearly 424,500 people living there. “This breakthrough delivery will bring much needed medical supplies to vulnerable populations in one of the areas most in need of medical assistance in Syria,” said Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative in Syria. Due to the challenging security situation, this is WHO’s second delivery to Dar’a in 2014 – in March, the Organization supported health authorities and local nongovernmental organizations with medical assistance for over 110,000 beneficiaries.
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