Syrian Crisis United Nations Response No. 62 / 1 October 2014

Syria, 1 October 2014 – Humanitarian Chief says urgent funding is needed to continue UN aid deliveries in Syria

UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos told the Security Council on 30 September that people in Syria continue to be subjected to further displacement and deprivation on a daily basis. “Over the past two weeks, ISIL forces have advanced in northern Aleppo and more than 160,000 people have fled into Turkey just in a few days”, she said during a briefing to the Council. Ms. Amos pointed out that despite the dangers faced, the United Nations continues to reach millions of people in need.

test_syria-300x1501“Last month, the World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners delivered aid to 4.1 million people”, she noted. She underlined, however, the critical need for further financial support. “Without additional funds, the World Food Programme will be forced to end its operations completely within two months. Rations have already been cut in order to continue to reach as many people as possible. Neighbouring countries also need urgent support so that they can continue to shelter millions of refugees”, she said.

Secretary-General appeals for increased efforts to prevent forced displacement

In his remarks to the annual Executive Committee of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, on 1 October, the Secretary-General stated that “never before in United Nations history have we had so many refugees, displaced people and asylum seekers. Never before has the United Nations been asked to reach so many with emergency food assistance and other life-saving support”. He added, “in Iraq and Syria, we see new depths of barbarity with each passing day, and devastating spill-over effects across the region.” The Secretary-General urged the international community to do more to prevent forced displacement, address its root causes, and support solutions for those affected by it, noting that this requires greater resources and more political leadership.

Global humanitarian funding requires fundamental rethink – UNHCR

Also addressing UNHCR’s Executive Committee, High Commissioner António Guterres warned that the global humanitarian system has become dangerously overstretched by new crises in the Middle East and Africa and continuing conflicts elsewhere. He said that a fundamental rethink of both humanitarian and development financing was required as humanitarian funding is no longer keeping pace with the accelerating needs. Referring to Syria, Mr. Guterres said that “the situation underlined the urgency of adapting the way we work together as massive need exceeds resources, expertise and capacities of humanitarian actors”.

OPCW-UN Joint Mission concludes operations

On 30 September, the OPCW-UN Joint Mission for the Elimination of the Chemical Weapons Programme of Syria completed its mandate and wrapped up its operations. In a press statement, the OPCW Director-General, Ahmet Üzümcü, hailed the role played by the Joint Mission and thanked Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag for her extraordinary efforts and leadership. “The work of the Joint Mission has been vital to the success of international efforts to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons programme. It is an excellent example of how practical cooperation between international organisations can achieve tangible results in disarmament,” he said.
While the OPCW will continue to deal with the destruction of chemical weapons production facilities and clarification of certain aspects of Syria’s initial declaration, logistical support for the OPCW’s operations in Syria will be provided by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
In a letter submitting his latest report on the work of the Joint Mission to the Security Council, the Secretary-General said that he would continue to exercise his good offices to implement resolution 2118 (2013). In this regard, he asked Special Coordinator Kaag to assist him in providing support for overall coordination and liaison with the Syrian Government and relevant actors.

WHO releases interim findings of probe into deaths of children in Idlib area

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on 27 September that an assessment of the deaths of 15 children in Idlib in northern Syria had concluded that the most likely cause was the incorrect use of a drug called Atracurium – a muscle relaxant – as a diluent for Measles/Rubella vaccine. There is no evidence that the Measles/Rubella vaccine itself or its correct diluent were the cause of this tragic event. According to WHO, Atracurium ampoules were incorrectly added to vaccination packs prepared in one vaccine distribution centre in Idlib Governorate and distributed to four vaccination teams on the second day of the measles campaign. Stressing that the risk of measles and polio remains extremely high in Syria, WHO urged health partners to rebuild confidence in vaccination and ensure that all children have access to vaccines.

UN Twitter account
.@ValerieAmos to Security Council on situation in Syria: violence that has killed 190,000+ people MUST stop
– 30 Sep 2014

More than US$120M is needed by @WHO to meet urgent medical needs of people in Syria between now & end of 2014
– 25 Sep 2014

UN Facebook page
Hear from some of Syria’s oldest refugees on Wednesday’s International Day of Older Persons.

“He would peel it for me. Men should always peel oranges for women.”
Khaldiye, 103, speaks proudly of her late husband who used to buy her an orange each day in Syria.
He was ten years her junior and a general in the military. “They all used to make fun of him for having an older wife, but he loved me.”
Meet some of the oldest survivors of Syria’s civil war – over 100 years of age & far from home:
-1 Oct 2014

From northern Mali to the Golan Heights, the risks facing UN peacekeepers are growing as they are deployed in increasingly dynamic and challenging situations, Ban Ki-moon said at a summit meeting at the UN on Friday. The Secretary-General pointed out that the global security landscape is shifting dramatically and announced a review of both United Nations peacekeeping and political missions to better hone their adaptability.
Find out more:
-26 Sep2014

UN Radio in Arabic
The mission of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in Syria comes to an end

Bashar Jaafari criticised the briefing of Valerie Amos on the situation in Syria

Amos: ISIL advance in Syria exacerbates the situation of civilians, but other parties are also violating human rights

Samantha Power: We are helping an unprecedented number inside Syria but we must do more

Antonio Guterres: Syrian refugee crisis is the largest in the world after the Palestinians

Valerie Amos welcomes Qatar’s generous contribution to give funding for humanitarian work for Syrians

Walid al-Moallem: We are open to a political solution with real opposition that seeks stability and security for Syria

WHO urges restoration of confidence in the immunization campaign in Syria

Ban Ki-moon and Lavrov discuss issues related to Ukraine, Syria and Iran

Lebanese Prime Minister announces tighter controls on the Lebanese-Syrian border

Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria

DPI Focus Page on Syria:

OPCW-UN Joint Mission

UN humanitarian agencies


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