Syrian Crisis-United Nations Response No. 161/24 August 2016

A Weekly Update from the UN Department of Public Information

Aid convoy reaches besieged area near Homs for the first time in a month

A UN inter-agency convoy delivered humanitarian assistance to 35,000 people in Al Waer in the Homs area on 23 August. According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), it was the first such convoy to bring life-saving assistance to any besieged or hard-to-reach area in Syria this month.

Meanwhile, the United Nations voiced strong concerns about the situation of some 40,000 people displaced by the fighting in the north-eastern city of Hasakeh. Since 18 August an additional 25,000 people have been displaced from Hasakeh to cities and villages north of the city following clashes between Government and Kurdish forces. The UN urges all parties to facilitate permanent and unhindered access by relief workers to people in need.

 “Aleppo has become the apex of horror”, says  UN Humanitarian Chief and calls for an end to hostilities

Briefing the Security Council on 22 August, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien warned of an “unparalleled humanitarian catastrophe” in Aleppo, reiterating the need for a 48-hour pause in fighting to allow safe and sustained aid access. “Aleppo has become the apex of horror at its most horrific extent of the suffering of people”, he said. Mr. O’Brien urged all Member States with influence over the parties, and in particular the United States and Russia to rapidly reach an agreement on security guarantees and operational modalities for a cease-fire in Aleppo and elsewhere. “Now is the moment to put differences aside, come together as one and stop this humanitarian shame upon us all”, he added

UNICEF Executive Director urges action for the 100,000 children trapped in Aleppo

The Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Anthony Lake, on 19 August called for an urgent action to help more than 100,000 children currently “trapped in the horror” of Aleppo. His statement was issued following a photo of a five-year old child who was pulled from the rubble of a building damaged by an airstrike in Aleppo.  “What human being can see the stunned suffering of Omran Dagneesh, the small boy rescued from a destroyed building in Aleppo, Syria, and not feel an overwhelming sense of empathy? Outrage is not enough. Empathy and outrage must be matched by action”, he stressed.

More than 30 people medically evacuated from two besieged towns

At least 36 people, including children requiring urgent medical treatment, were evacuated by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent from the besieged towns of Fouah and Madaya, Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura announced on 19 August. The evacuation followed a particular appeal he made on 11 August. “While this is a positive step, areas remain besieged by parties to the conflict and Syrians are in need of food and medical assistance to enter these areas,” Mr. de Mistura noted. The Envoy added that in some places no convoys had been allowed to enter for over 110 days.

 Special Envoy welcomes readiness for 48-hour humanitarian pause for Aleppo

Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura welcomed on 18 August Russia’s readiness to support his proposal for a 48-hour humanitarian pause to bring relief assistance in Aleppo. The Envoy said that the United Nations humanitarian team set to be mobilized to respond to the challenge. “The United Nations counts on the Russian Federation to deliver their part, regarding, in particular, the adherence of the Syrian armed forces to the pause, once it comes into effect”, Mr. de Mistura said in a statement. “The United Nations further counts on all those with access to or influence on the armed opposition, in particular, the United States, as co‑chair of the International Syria Support Group, as well as other relevant Support Group members, to ensure that the armed opposition also respects the 48‑hour humanitarian pause”, the Envoy added.

UN Radio in Arabic

UN official warns of disaster in Aleppo

مسؤول دولي يحذر من كارثة في حلب لم يسبق لها مثيل في الصراع السوري


Jordanian artist sends a message of hope through music for children and young Syrians

فنان أردني يبعث رسالة أمل عبر الموسيقى للأطفال والشباب السوريين


UNICEF Executive Director: empathy with Syrian children is not enough

اليونيسف: التعاطف مع أطفال سوريا لا يكفي


Special Envoy de Mistura welcomes the evacuation of over 30 people from Fouah and Madaya

دي مستورا يرحب بإجلاء 36 شخصا من فوعه ومضايا


Syrian mother appeals for peace on World Humanitarian Day

رسالة أم سورية للعالم.. أتمنى أن يعم السلام العالم كله، ليس فقط في سوريا


Special Envoy de Mistura welcomes readiness of Russia to support 48-hours humanitarian pause in Aleppo

دي مستورا يرحب باستعداد روسيا لتطبيق هدنة إنسانية لمدة 48 ساعة في حلب



United Nations ‏@UN – 22 August

Syria: @UNReliefChief urges Security Council to put differences aside & “stop this humanitarian shame”

UN Radio ‏@UN_Radio – 22 August

#SecurityCouncil urged to put aside differences on #Syria. Working for #humanitarianaid #UN

United Nations Retweeted- 22 August

WFP Logistics ‏@WFPLogistics

#HappeningNow: 100 airdrops done & still going strong! @WFP continues to reach thousands trapped in #DeirEzzor #Syria

United Nations ‏@UN – 20 August

This Syrian refugee mother talked about her experience at the UN for World Humanitarian Day. #UN4RefugeesMigrants

United Nations Retweeted

OCHA Syria ‏@OCHA_Syria – 20 August

Empathy & outrage must be matched by action for 100,000 children trapped in #Aleppo @UNICEF


Preparing the new academic year, UNRWA works intensively to rehabilitate its schools. Qabr Essit school is among the 57 damaged and partially damaged in the conflict, but is now in an advanced stage of reconstruction.

Qabr Essit camp, Damascus, Syria. © 2016 UNRWA Photo by Taghrid Mohammad

On World Humanitarian day, we commemorate the commitment of UN and humanitarian frontline staff in Syria. Since its start in 2011, the conflict has killed 18 UNRWA staff, while 25 others remain detained or missing.


© 2016 UNRWA Photo by Irina Prentice

Many Syrian families make impossible choices everyday due to the current conflict.

Meet this family that is attending the World Humanitarian Day event in New York today.

محمد عساف Mohammed Assaf will interview the family at 11:30 pm Jerusalem time (4:30 pm New York time) and live on our page here.

‪#‎ShareHumanity ‪#‎WorldHumanitarianDay

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.

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