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UN discusses resolution addressing Syria’s humanitarian crisis

The United Nations Security Council has gathered behind closed doors to discuss a resolution passed in February addressing Syria's growing humanitarian crisis.

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council has gathered behind closed doors to discuss a resolution passed in February addressing Syria's growing humanitarian crisis.

Little has improved on the ground and many experts are urging the UN to do more.

With aid failing to reach large parts of the population, these groups hope to see more pressure put on all sides in the Syria conflict.

February's UN resolution demanded all sides in Syria stop using weapons such as barrel bombs which have reduced neighbourhoods to rubble.

As hospitals and schools continue to get hit, the UN said the message does not seem to be getting through.

Valerie Amos, UN’s under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said: "The Security Council's own resolution is not being implemented."

With Russia backing the Syrian regime, the UN humanitarian chief said the Security Council is struggling to implement its resolution.

Amos said: "The Council itself needs to work on ways to bridge that political gap because it's having serious consequences on humanitarian operations."

As dangerous as any bomb, the denial of aid in Syria is being used as a weapon. The UN said that less than 10 per cent of people in besieged areas have access to support.

Both sides have been accused of blocking aid routes but agencies have found getting supplies into rebel areas is especially tough.

With Syria's government unwilling to open more borders, many experts said the UN is being "overly cautious" and within its right to deliver aid without the consent of Syria's government.

Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, said: "It's a strong resolution. It says what it needs to say. It says that this type of aid, it should be obvious that rather than go across 50 different checkpoints over 150 kilometres to reach somebody, you should take the shortest route."

The Syrian regime may be blocking aid but going to the country's most dangerous towns without government approval is a move the UN is unlikely to make.

UN agencies see the government's cooperation as a vital part of any lasting deal.

Critics now say a further Security Council resolution is needed, one which includes consequences for non-compliance. But with Russia likely to veto that vote, getting aid to Syria's most desperate will not be so easy. 

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