Syria Crisis – United Nations Response 1 June 2016

Seriously thinking of air dropping humanitarian aid to besieged areas, says the Special Envoy

UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said on 26 May that as decided at the Vienna meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), if by 1 June some of the areas besieged either by the government or the opposition were not accessible, they would seriously take into account the option of “air drops, air lifting, air bridging”. Speaking to the media in Geneva, after the meeting of the Humanitarian Task Force, he termed air dropping humanitarian aid as the “the cheapest, the most effective, the most deliverable” option. Also addressing the media with him, Senior Adviser Jan Egeland said that the month of May had been much more difficult than they had hoped. “We were supposed to have procedures with the government and with armed opposition groups that would make it possible for us to reach a million people by land in addition to the 110,000 people by air in Deir-ez Zor.” Of the one million people, he said so far they had reached only 160,000 people.

Fears for displaced and encircled civilians as ISIL offensives escalate in north

Two United Nations experts on internally displaced persons and summary executions urged immediate protection for thousands of civilians caught up in ISIL offensives in the Aleppo region of northern Syria. In a statement issued on 1 June, the experts voiced their concern at the prospect of massive new displacement of populations in the region and the targeting of trapped and vulnerable civilians including those already internally displaced and highly vulnerable due to the conflict. In recent days, according to the UN in Syria, ISIL has rapidly seized a number of villages and advanced to within two kilometres of Azaz town, putting at risk those internally displaced living in camps near the Turkish border and other vulnerable communities.