Press release

FCO Minister calls for unfettered aid access in Syria

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Tobias Ellwood urges world not to turn its attention from Syria as over 1700 reported dead in a week.

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Reacting to the latest UN report and briefing by Baroness Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, on the humanitarian situation in Syria, Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said:

For over three years, the Assad regime has systematically denied food and medicines to millions of Syrians in an abominable and criminal attempt to starve them into submission. Over 10.8 million Syrians are in dire need of humanitarian aid within Syria, with 6.4 million people internally displaced. On 24 July, following UK-led efforts to secure the necessary authorisation in UNSCR 2165, and with the help of the Syrian moderate opposition, the first UN aid convoy successfully crossed the border from Turkey to reach those in desperate need of aid.

The UK has been at the forefront of the humanitarian response in Syria and the region. Our total funding for Syria and the region is now £600m, three times the size of our response to any other humanitarian crisis.

The past week was one of the bloodiest of the entire conflict with over 1700 reportedly killed. It is estimated that over 160,000 people have now died since the start of the war. The latest UN report set out how the Assad regime has intensified its brutal campaign of air and ground bombardments with no thought for the innocent lives lost each day. Currently, 300,000 people in eastern Aleppo city are besieged by Assad’s forces; it’s crucial that aid reaches them soon.

We must not forget about Syria, and we must see sustained and unfettered access for the millions of Syrians who continue to be deprived of basic humanitarian assistance by Assad’s war.

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Published 31 July 2014