The UN Security Council agreed on Wednesday to extend for a year cross-border deliveries of desperately-needed humanitarian aid to rebel-held areas in Syria.
The 15-member council voted unanimously to renew authorization through January 2016 for the UN convoys who cross into Syria from Turkey, Jordan and Iraq, without the consent of the Damascus regime.
The measure was first adopted in July with the backing of Russia, Syria’s ally, to help ease the suffering of some of the 12 million Syrians in urgent need of aid.
The Syrian National Coalition, an umbrella group representing the opposition, called for the resolution to be fully implemented to scale up the aid deliveries.
“Millions of Syrians did not receive the aid that should have reached them. This must change with the new resolution — it must be fully implemented immediately,” said SNC official Najib Ghadbian.
More than 200,000 people have died in the nearly four-year war in Syria, and nearly half of the population has been displaced.
Around 7.6 million civilians are displaced internally and three million Syria refugees have fled to neighboring countries.
The resolution sponsored by Australia, Jordan and Luxembourg expresses support for UN envoy Staffan de Mistura who is trying to win agreement for a “freeze zone” in Aleppo to stop fighting and bring in aid.
It also voiced concern over continued blocking of aid deliveries.