Syria: Civilians caught in crossfire, UN refugee chief urges Jordan to open its border

UNICEF/Alaa Al-Faqir
Families displaced from Rural Quneitra, southwest Syria, to areas near the Golan. Families are seeking shelter in open areas and camps and are reported to have significant shelter needs.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The head of the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, appealed on Thursday for Jordan to open its border with south-west Syria to help protect around 750,000 civilians who are “caught in the crossfire”, amidst airstrikes and heavy shelling.

“More than 320,000 people are now displaced and most are living in dire and insecure conditions, including some 60,000 people camped at the Nasib/Jaber border crossing with Jordan,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi said, in a statement.

Although local communities in Syria have opened their doors to take in many of the displaced, most are forced to live in open spaces or in makeshift shelters that offer little safety and protection from the elements, he added.

“There are large numbers of women and children among the displaced, as well as elderly, injured and sick people and I am especially concerned about them,” he continued, adding that among the displaced are local humanitarian workers who have “selflessly served the civilian population throughout the duration of the conflict.”

Mr. Grandi underscored the immediate priority of finding a political solution to the conflict to spare civilians further suffering. Fighting between pro-Syrian government forces and opposition militia, has been intensifying for weeks across Dara’a Governorate, close to the Jordanian border, as well as the Golan Heights border area with Israel.

He said that while the UN and partners are doing what they can to deliver life-saving aid to the people of south-west Syria – both from within the country and across the Jordanian border – the security situation is hindering efforts to reach many people in dire need.

“I call on all parties to redouble efforts to cease hostilities, to allow humanitarian actors to deliver life-saving assistance, shelter and evacuate the wounded,” Mr. Grandi said, spelling out that civilian protection, safety and security along with that of humanitarian workers is of “utmost importance.”

It is “a core principle of international humanitarian law that needs to be guaranteed by all parties to the conflict and the international community at large,” he stressed.

“I commend Jordan for generously providing protection to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees since the beginning of the crisis and for providing and facilitating assistance to those in need inside Syria,” he said.

But, “given the immediate dangers,” added Mr. Grandi, “I am advocating for granting temporary refuge in Jordan to those in need of safety and for the international community to provide immediate and substantive support to Jordan, in a spirit of solidarity and responsibility sharing.”

Underscoring that UNHCR is prepared to immediately scale up its assistance inside Syria and to Jordan, the High Commissioner concluded: “Thousands of innocent lives are going to be lost, once again, if urgent action is not taken.”

In a statement issued by his spokesperson later on Thursday, Secretary-General António Guterres said that he was “gravely concerned by the resumption of the military offensive in southwest Syria and its continued devastating impact on civilians.”

“The Secretary-General fully supports today’s statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi,” said Stéphane Dujarric, adding that there needed to be an “immediate suspension” of hostilities and the resumption of negotiations.

“He calls on all parties to take all necessary measures to safeguard civilian lives, allow freedom of movement, and protect civilian infrastructure, including medical and educational facilities, at all times, in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law,” the statement continued.

“The Secretary-General further reiterates his call for the United Nations to be allowed to conduct cross-border and cross line humanitarian deliveries to resume without further delay for the benefit of people in need within Syria,” it concluded.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

At Ministerial session, UN regional office in Beirut to focus on technology for sustainable development

Love unlimited

Marco Polo’s Dream

The EU checks the multinationals for tax fraud but Britain may sail out of the EU via Panama

The EU moulds a new compromise for growth and financial sustainability

Can Kiev make face to mounting economic problems and social unrest?

The European Council takes more measures to stem illegal migration

Japan to invest in euro values

Which EU countries have to correct their economic policies?

A young European voice on Grexit: too high a bill and too big a deal!

Tools of asset development: Renewable Energy Projects case

A Sting Exclusive: “Paris is indeed our best bet for a secure climate future”, EU Commissioner for Environment Karmenu Vella cries out from Brussels

Challenges remain in DPRK despite ‘slight’ improvements in health, wellbeing: UNICEF

Main results of EU-Japan summit: Tokyo, 17/07/2018

The big challenge of leadership and entrepreneurship in Europe

Employers’ organizations work towards improving the enabling environment for sustainable enterprises

Here’s what keeps CEOs awake at night (and why it might be bad news for your next job)

GDPR and the World Cup have these 4 things in common

Eurozone: How can 200 banks find €400 billion?

A young student discusses the determinants of migration in the European Union

How Eurozone consumers spend their income when they have one…

“Leaked” TTIP document breaks post 8th negotiations round silence and opens door to critics

Italian banks: It’s Rome’s turn to confront Berlin’s aggressiveness

FIAT Chrysler: from Geneva Motor show to the World, and back

Google’s bare truth: Europe’s Chief denies EU accusations but admits they “don’t always get it right”

An entrepreneurial point-of view on tackling the migration crisis and the risks of abolishing Schengen

Is Eurozone preparing to abandon austerity and stagnation?

A Sting Exclusive: “Regional Policy: a fully-fledged investment policy”, Commissioner Cretu reveals live from European Business Summit 2015

ECB’s unconventional monetary measures give first tangible results

‘Laser-sharp focus’ needed to achieve Global Goals by 2030, UN political forum told

Drugs cost too much. There is a better way to fund medical innovation

The West and Russia impose a new order on the world

The “Legend of the Sun” wishes you Happy Chinese New Year 2015 from Brussels

European Agenda on Migration: Still fragile situation gives no cause for complacency

FEATURE: Niger’s girls find sanctuary in fistula treatment centres

EU lawmakers vote to reintroduce visas for Americans over “reciprocity principle”

How to provide health education and thus create better health systems

Russia won’t let Ukraine drift westwards in one piece

Britain, EU take edgy steps to unlock Brexit talks as the war of words rages

Switzerland to introduce strict restrictions on executive pay

Europe rethinking its severe austerity policies

What options the new President of Ukraine has?

How well you age depends on what you think of old age

A European young student shares his thoughts on Quality Education

“A global threat lies ahead worsened after the EU’s green light to the Bayer-Monsanto merger”, a Sting Exclusive by the President of Slow Food

ECB offers cheaper money despite reactions from Germany

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Cities & Regions Launch Major Five-Year Vision to Take Action on Climate Change

Eurozone: In vicious cycle of disinflation and unemployment?

G20 LIVE: “ISIL is the face of evil; our goal is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric terrorist organisation”, US President Barack Obama cries out from Antalya Turkey

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

This AI is working with a fleet of drones to help us fight ocean plastic

The EU has to prove it can remain one piece

Eurozone: GDP development heads to naught; the expensive euro serves only Germany

EU prepares a banking union amidst financial ruins

ECB: The bastion of effective and equitable Europeanism keeps up quantitative easing

Population in crisis hit EU countries will suffer for decades

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

Chauvinism and xenophobia will lead to global assertiveness and more wars

Pharmaceuticals conceal drug side effects with the EU’s Court blessing

Why and how did ISIS and Muslim fundamentalism gain momentum this year?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s