10.000 children facing malnutrition in NE Syria – Save the Children

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – The number of malnourished children in Northeast Syria has recorded a 150% increase in the past six months as poverty rate in Syria spiked to 90%, Save the Children said on Thursday.

This came in a report in which Save the Children said “at least 10,000 more children now facing malnutrition than in the previous six months.”

London-based Save the Children is an international non-governmental organization concerned about children and providing emergency aid in natural disasters.

The organization added that nutrition centers in camps and in community settings in northeast Syria recorded a fourfold increase in the number of malnourished children from 256 to 1000.

Sara Ali, Save the Children’s Nutrition specialist, said, “Poverty and the inability to afford food are the main reasons families are giving for this increase.”

She stressed that life of children in northeast Syria is at risk in light of increasing malnutrition rate.

Beat Rohr, Interim Syria Response Office Director, said that the deteriorating economic conditions “has become main driver of needs” though battles are continuing in different parts across Syria.

Save the Children called on donors to exert more efforts to deal with hunger and ease its grave impacts on children to “have access to balanced nutrition” amid insufficient resources available.

What makes the situation even worse for people in north and east Syria is the UN reauthorizations of only one border crossing Bab al-Hawa with Turkey, aggravating an area with about three million people including 150,000 refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) residing in camps, tolerating soaring prices and dire economic conditions.

In June, the UN Security Council approved to extend lifesaving aid deliveries into northwest Syria through Bab al-Hawa border crossing for a further six months.

Since July 10, 2020, Bab al-Hawa has been the only crossing kept open to UN aid based on the resolution 2533 (2020), while the use of the others was curtailed.

In July 2014, the UN Security Council adopted the Resolution 2165 which authorized the UN to deliver cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria through four crossings al-Ramtha crossing with Jordan, Bab al-Salam and Bab al-Hawa with Turkey, and al Ya’rubiyah (Tel Kocher) with Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), without the consent of the Syrian government.

The Kurdish-led AANES has been calling on the Security Council since 2019 to reopen al-Ya’rubiyah border-crossing, so humanitarian aid can be delivered to people in need.

Prior to the closure of al-Ya’rubiyah that happened due to successive Russian-Chinese vetoes, 103 medical facilities were receiving aid across the crossing to northeastern Syria according to a report by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the Security Council in the beginning of 2020.

Reporting by Saya Muhammad