There has been a 20% surge in the demand for humanitarian assistance in Syria in 2020, the president of the 75th session of the U.N. General Assembly said Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York, Volkan Bozkır, a former Turkish ambassador and minister, said humanitarian cross-border operations are at a critical juncture, particularly as the U.N. rolls out its COVID-19 vaccination program.
"Therefore, I'm convinced that a sustained, large-scale and expanded cross-border aid response is essential to address the enormous humanitarian need in northwest Syria," said Bozkır.
The diplomat reiterated his previous call for the U.N. Security Council to ensure that the vital cross-border operations continue uninterrupted and to expand humanitarian operations to meet the humanitarian needs.
Truckloads of humanitarian aid commonly cross into Syria's northwestern Idlib province through Turkish gates in the southern part of the country.
Syria has been ravaged by a civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced.
Idlib falls within a de-escalation zone forged under an agreement between Turkey and Russia. The area has been the subject of multiple cease-fire understandings, which have frequently been violated by the Assad regime and its allies.