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China's UN envoy calls for greater humanitarian funding for Syria

Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations (photo by Xinhua news agency)

China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations has called upon concerned parties to increase support and bridge humanitarian funding gaps in Syria so that aid is reaching where it is most needed.

“At present, the huge gaps in humanitarian funding for Syria have already affected the implementation of relief operations and early recovery projects. We hope that the parties concerned will honor their commitments and further increase their funding support,” Geng Shuang said at a UN Security Council briefing on Syria.

The envoy said the Syrian government has so far opened Bab al-Salam and al-Ra'ee crossings in the northwestern part of the country, taken positive measures to facilitate humanitarian access, ended the case-by-case approval procedure for cross-line assistance, and facilitated visa issuance for humanitarian workers.

“These initiatives are welcomed by the parties concerned, and China commends these efforts,” Geng said.

He said the Security Council should pay closer attention to unfolding developments in Syria and implementation of Resolution 2672, which calls for both cross-line and cross-border humanitarian assistance, plan its programs more carefully, and further increase humanitarian relief to Syria and alleviate the ongoing humanitarian crisis there.

Geng underscored that cross-line operations should be the primary mode of humanitarian relief in Syria. However, the operations were interrupted for the past four months due to the obstruction by local authorities in northwest Syria.

“The Security Council must come up with practical solutions to break the barriers in cross-line delivery, improve efficiency, and increase scale to ensure greater stability and predictability of the relief work,” he said.

The Chinese envy also denounced unilateral sanctions and coercive measures against Styria, stating that certain countries have been voicing concern about Syria's humanitarian situation and requesting the Council to adopt resolutions on humanitarian issues in Syria.

“At the same time, they have been willfully imposing unilateral sanctions, causing Syria's economic and humanitarian plight to worsen,” Geng said.

“Such self-contradictory and hypocritical behavior is no different from pretending to be giving CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to a patient without losing the chokehold on the patient's throat. I wish to reiterate that all unlawful, unilateral sanctions against Syria should be unconditionally and fully lifted.”

Syria has been a target of US sanctions since 1979. Washington and its Western allies have dramatically tightened their economic sanctions and restrictions on Damascus after 2011, when the Arab country found itself in the grip of rampant foreign-backed militancy and terrorism.

The US coercive measures intensified even further with the passing of the Caesar Act in 2019, which targeted any individual and business that participated either directly or indirectly in Syria's reconstruction efforts.

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