UN Humanitarian Chief urges safe access to Aleppo
Speaking to reporters after a briefing to the Security Council on the situation in Aleppo on 9 August, Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien called once again for a “fully-fledged ceasefire or weekly 48-hour humanitarian pauses – as a minimum – to reach millions of people in need: safely, unimpeded and without further delay”.
He noted that two million people living in Aleppo are in fear of besiegement. “We must all be gravely concerned for the safety, health and protection of those terrified civilians. They are counting on us to deliver assistance and end their suffering”, he said. Mr. O’Brien added that while food and medicine stocks were running low, UN agencies and partners had relief supplies ready to be distributed, including through cross-line and cross-border operations from Turkey. “We can deliver these within 24-48 hours if we have safe access”, he noted.
Senior UN officials call for humanitarian pause in Aleppo
Amid intensifying fighting in Aleppo, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria Yacoub El Hillo and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis Kevin Kennedy called on 8 August for a humanitarian pause to allow immediate access to repair the electricity and water networks and provide aid to people in need. Since early July, following the closure of the last remaining access road into eastern Aleppo, an estimated 250,000-275,000 people remain trapped in the area. “Over the past few weeks, communities in both east and west Aleppo have borne the brunt of the vicious conflict, with countless civilians dead or injured. The targeting of hospitals and clinics continues unabated. Moreover, attacks on civilian infrastructure this week severely damaged the city’s electric and water infrastructure, leaving over two million residents of Aleppo without electricity or access to the public water network”, the two UN officials noted. “The UN requires a full-fledged ceasefire or weekly 48-hour humanitarian pauses to reach the millions of people in need throughout Aleppo”, they stressed.
Two million people at risk in Aleppo due to water and power cuts, warns UNICEF
Speaking to reporters in Geneva on 9 August, UNICEF Spokesman Christophe Boulierac described the dire situation in Aleppo, where two million people are left with no access to running water through the public network. Those cuts were coming amid a heat wave, putting children at a grave risk of waterborne diseases. Urgent repairs to electricity infrastructure were critical. Mr. Boulierac explained that since the recent escalation of attacks and fighting on 31 July, UNICEF had scaled up its emergency water trucking in the western parts of Aleppo city. With the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, UNICEF was trucking emergency drinking water daily to an estimated 325,000 people, including families displaced by recent fighting.
Humanitarian and health situation in eastern Aleppo is critical – WHO
The World Health Organization said on 5 August that while the demand for medical care for people in eastern Aleppo has increased, especially for severe war-related injuries, the escalating violence and besiegement of the city has resulted in a lack of health services due to attacks on health facilities, shortages of health care workers, and limited medical supplies. In July 2016 alone, there were at least 10 confirmed attacks on health facilities in Aleppo city. Among those besieged are more than 90,000 children. Dr Hatem Abu Yazan, the general director of the Children’s Specialised Hospital in eastern Aleppo City, says that only 2 paediatric doctors are left in the city. As the situation in eastern Aleppo city continues to deteriorate, WHO has provided supplies for more than 70,000 beneficiaries to 13 nongovernmental organizations in northern Syria to be delivered to operating health facilities in eastern Aleppo city once a humanitarian corridor is open.
UNRWA Chief visits Palestine Refugees in Syria
UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl visited Syria from 6 to 8 August to meet with Palestine refugees, UNRWA staff and government officials.
In a town hall meeting, Damascus-based UNRWA staff shared their preoccupations with the Commissioner-General. Mr. Krähenbühl expressed deep appreciation for the extraordinary contributions of UNRWA staff in Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Latakia and Dera’a and the sacrifices they continue to make to serve Palestine refugees. In his meetings with Government officials, the Commissioner-General called for steps to be taken to strengthen the protection of Palestine refugees, particularly in Aleppo, Khan Eshieh and the Yarmouk-Yalda area, and to facilitate UNRWA’s access to those most in need. He also appealed for protection and respect for UNRWA staff, who face significant risks in the course of their work on a daily basis.
UN agencies deliver aid to Syrians stranded at border using cranes
About 75,000 Syrians stranded at the Jordanian border received much needed humanitarian assistance, the World Food Programme said on 5 August. In a unique operation, 650 metric tons of relief items from the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNICEF were lifted from the Jordanian side by 70-metre-high cranes and lowered into encampments for displaced people in the Syrian Desert. It was the first delivery to reach the area since the border was sealed in June, WFP added. “Most are women, children and the elderly – many of them sick or wounded – who have no access to food or medicine. They are living in tents, enduring temperatures of more than 50 degrees Celsius,” said Mageed Yahia, WFP Representative and Country Director in Jordan.
UN Radio in Arabic
UN official calls for a weekly humanitarian truce in Syria to relief civilians
مسؤول دولي يدعو إلى هدنة إنسانية أسبوعية في سوريا لإغاثة المدنيين
Commissioner-General of UNRWA carries out second visit to Syria this year
المفوض العام للأونروا يقوم بزيارة رسمية ثانية إلى سوريا هذا العام
World Health Organization warns of the lack of health services in the city of Aleppo
منظمة الصحة العالمية تحذر من نقص الخدمات الصحية في مدينة حلب
UN calls for humanitarian pause in Aleppo
الأمم المتحدة تدعو إلى هدنة إنسانية في حلب
WHO: Health care beyond the reach of the Syrians eastern city of Aleppo
منظمة الصحة العالمية: الرعاية الصحية بعيدة عن متناول السوريين شرق مدينة حلب
Agencies use cranes to provide life-saving assistance to the Syrians stranded on the Jordanian-Syrian border
استخدام الرافعات لتقديم المساعدات المنقذة للحياة للسوريين العالقين على الحدود الأردنية-السورية
Unique humanitarian operation to help tens of thousands of Syrians on the border with Jordan
UNRWA condemns the killing of three Palestinian refugees in Khan El-Sheeh in Syria
الأونروا تدين مقتل ثلاثة لاجئين فلسطينيين في خان الشيح في سوريا
An international expert calls for the protection of residents trapped in inaccessible places in Syria
. خبير دولي يدعو لحماية المحاصرين والمقيمين في أماكن يصعب الوصول إليها بسوريا
United Nations Retweeted
WFP Middle East @WFP_MENA – 9 August
Into the darkness: Breaking through to besieged communities in #Syria http://medium.com/age-of-awareness/into-the-darkness-breaking-through-to-besieged-communities-in-syria-b687ff097a71#.hzv19g47 …
United Nations Retweeted – 9 August
UNHCR very concerned about deteriorating situation and restricted access in #Aleppo #Syria. http://bit.ly/2aIAE56
United Nations Retweeted – 8 August
Stephen O’Brien @UNReliefChief.@UN ready to assist in #Aleppo but ppl desperately need a ceasefire or a humanitarian pause http://ow.ly/cXNn303300p
United Nations Retweeted
WFP Logistics @WFPLogistics- 8 August
#Syria: Cranes to the rescue! See this cool video on how @UN reached 75K people trapped on the Syria-Jordan border!
UNRWA@UNRWA – 7 August
As the war continues for a sixth year, 95٪ of Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in Syria rely on food aid. pic.twitter.com/VNxMmOYP91-
In the 2015/16 school year, 732 Palestine refugee children from Syria and 736 Syrian children were registered in UNRWA schools in Jordan- 8 August
© 2015 UNRWA Photo by Sahem Rababa
As the war continues for a sixth year, 95 per cent of Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in Syria rely on food aid. In the first half of 2016, we delivered US$ 5.3 million worth of food parcels to those in need across the country- 7 August.
© 2016 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammad
Social media campaigns
@ShareTheMeal: In April 2016, the World Food Programme launched its phone application to support fundraising efforts for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. ShareTheMeal’s fundraising aims to support 1,400 refugee children aged 3–4 in Beirut for a full year. Through the app, smartphone users can join thousands of other people in making donations and support a selected community and monitor progress. Since November 2015, the app has been available globally and has received several awards for its design and innovative character.
#ActofHumanity: UNICEF launched in March 2016 a series of animated films entitled “Unfairy Tales” to help frame positive perceptions towards the millions of children and young people on the move globally. The Unfairy Tales are part of an initiative, #actofhumanity, emphasising that every child has rights and deserves a fair chance.
UNICEF will engage audiences through the hashtag #actofhumanity to share stories about refugees and migrant children.
#RememberUs – #Syria5Years is an advocacy and fundraising campaign to tell the story of Palestine refugees in Syria after five years of armed conflict. In the last five years, the Palestine refugees of Syria have been experiencing tremendous hardship with over 60 per cent of the 560,000 registered with UNRWA displaced throughout Syria and further afield. Through the campaign, UNRWA remembers the victims to the Syrian conflict, in particular the Palestine refugees, many of whom have lost their communities, family members, houses and livelihoods. To date, 16 UNRWA staff members have lost their lives in the armed conflict in Syria. This is the largest death toll for any single United Nations agency working in Syria.
#MyVoiceMySchool- #Myvoicemyschool, running for a second year, is an educational project linking Palestine refugee youth in Syria with their peers in England and Belgium.
Through live video conversations and customized teaching materials, students and teachers explore how education can help them meet their future aspirations.
#IamSyrian is a global engagement campaign on social media launched by the World Food Programme (WFP) at the London Syria conference in February 2016. It offers global citizens the opportunity to show solidarity with the Syrian people by sharing their stories, sending messages of support and demonstrating how the world continues to care about their plight. The campaign will culminate in an exhibition at the UN General Assembly in September 2016.
#Unite4Heritage is a global movement run by UNESCO that aims to celebrate and safeguard cultural heritage and diversity around the world. Launched in response to the unprecedented attacks on world heritage sites, the campaign calls on everyone to stand up against extremism and radicalization by celebrating the places, objects and cultural traditions that make the world such a rich and vibrant place.
Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria
DPI Focus Page on Syria:
UN System agencies :
OCHA: http:/unocha.org/syria, twitter.com/ocha_syria, facebook.com/UNOCHA.Syria
UNESCO Emergency Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage Project: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/beirut/areas-of-action/culture/syria/emergency-safeguarding-of-the-syrian-heritage/
UNESCO Observatory of Syrian Cultural Heritage https://en.unesco.org/syrian-observatory/
UNESCO Bridging Learning Gaps for Youth: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/syria-crisis-response/bridging-learning-gaps/
UN on social media: