28 Sep 2017 10:28

Russian Ambassador Nebenzya urges UN to clarify info regarding civilian access to humanitarian aid in Syria

NEW YORK (UN). Sept 28 (Interfax) - Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya has urged the UN to clarify the information regarding the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria.

"Transborder supplies should be gradually curtailed amid the broadening humanitarian access," Nebenzya said at the UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East situation.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addressed the Russian colleague and called against shutting down the supply line; she said that the United Nations had been monthly helping a million people with transborder deliveries.

Haley referred to Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, who said that 280,000 people had received assistance from interdepartmental convoys since early August. This is 21% of all people who need relief, the U.S. ambassador said, noting that the Syrian regime continued to deny humanitarian access to those in need.

In turn, Nebenzya called for "clarifying the statistical data, including the number of Syrian residents who have access to humanitarian supplies and have received assistance from the United Nations."

"I believe this is one of the tasks the new UN Under-Secretary-General should address. I remember well that during our previous discussion of the Syria issue, including humanitarian access, held some time ago at the Security Council's Consultations Room, a representative of OCHA [the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] provided convincing information as to how many people were receiving aid with the support from the Syrian government. He was not speaking of a hundred thousand; if I am not mistaken, he was speaking of five million who have received assistance thanks to cooperation between OCHA and the Syrian government," Nebenzya said.

"I'd like us to look into those numbers. I would also like to ask Mr. Lowcock to address the issue. Let us synchronize our watches," Nebenzya said.