Melanie Joly Harjit Sajjan

Welcoming renewal of Syrian cross-border mechanism

eAwaz Local News

Ottawa – Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, today issued the following statement:

“Canada welcomes the UN Security Council’s authorization for the use of the Bab al-Hawa border crossing in northwest Syria for six months. The Syrian cross-border mechanism is a vital tool that helps provide life-saving humanitarian aid, including food and medical supplies, to approximately 2.4 million Syrians each month in hard-to-reach areas.

“Although the mechanism’s extension is a positive result for millions of Syrians, more needs to be done to ensure experienced humanitarian partners are able to access every Syrian in need of assistance, across the country. We regret Russia’s decision to veto the twelve-month extension of the mechanism and thank Ireland and Norway for advocating for a renewal so that humanitarian assistance can continue to reach Syrians in need.

“We recognize the United Nations’ efforts to continue cross-line humanitarian convoys but firmly believe they alone are not an adequate alternative to the cross-border mechanism, which is an irreplaceable pillar of the international community’s humanitarian response in Syria.

“Canada calls on all parties to the conflict to meet their obligation under international law and facilitate rapid, safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to the millions of Syrians who have been facing the most acute humanitarian situation since the beginning of the conflict.

“Since 2016, Canada has committed over $612 million in humanitarian assistance to Syria. We remain resolute in our support of the Syrian people.”