PRESS RELEASE: ARCS Calls for Humanitarian Access to Aleppo and Daraya

STATEMENT COMES AS AREAS OF ALEPPO CITY ARE CUT OFF FROM HUMANITARIAN ACCESS AND AS THE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN DARAYA DETERIORATES

Washington, DC. (July 15, 2016) – An estimated 400,000 people residing in eastern Aleppo City have been cut off from humanitarian access, while an estimated 8,000 residents in Daraya continue to wait for assistance after the last convoy over a month ago, the first convoy permitted to enter in four years.

Aleppo has experienced a significant escalation of violence since late April. Castello Road, the main access point for food, fuel for ambulances and hospitals, and humanitarian assistance is closed, trapping residents in eastern Aleppo City. The UN reports that their partners in Aleppo only have food reserves for 145,000 people for one month.

This week, in Daraya residents were cut off from local farms, which have been the primary source of food over the past four years. Since 2012, only one UN food aid convoy has been allowed to enter Daraya. On June 9, the UN delivered a food aid convoy carrying enough food for 2,400 people to last one month.

The American Relief Coalition for Syria (ARCS) calls for immediate and unconditional access to be granted to Aleppo, Daraya, and all besieged areas in Syria. All humanitarian options should be considered to bring life-saving assistance, including airdrops. Airdrops should be used in addition to, not as a substitute for, unhindered ground access.

Over 1 million people live in besieged areas in Syria. Currently, ARCS organizations offer wide-ranging services on the ground, despite challenges and threats, reaching many of the affected areas. However, ARCS member organizations continue to be hindered and prevented from accessing some of the most desperate areas. ARCS calls on the international community to uphold and enforce international humanitarian law and UNSC Resolutions 2139, 2165, 2191, and 2258 which demand unfettered access for humanitarian aid.

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The American Relief Coalition for Syria (ARCS) is a 501(c)3 organization working as a coalition of Syrian-American relief organizations joining forces dedicated to collectively providing Syrians with humanitarian assistance. ARCS is a coalition of non-political, Syrian diaspora led humanitarian organizations that provide multi-sector relief inside of Syria, as well as assistance and services to Syrian refugees in regional host countries and in the United States. By pooling the talents and expertise of hundreds of professionals, ARCS member organizations cover the full range of humanitarian sectors, including health, psychosocial support, community services, education, food and non-food items, protection, water/sanitation/hygiene, and women’s empowerment. In addition to emergency relief, ARCS organizations have established development projects that promote sustainable living and lay the groundwork for voluntary refugee return, such as building schools, facilitating jobs and skills training, and helping to establish bakeries and flour mills.

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ARCS Staff