The World Council of Churches announced its support of a joint appeal for humanitarian access in Syria initiated by the Norwegian Refugee Council and UNICEF, and signed by dozens of humanitarian agencies worldwide.
The appeal states that humanitarian access has to go beyond a temporary lifting of sieges and checkpoints to allow more aid convoys to move. “Humanitarian access and freedom of movement of civilians in Syria has to be sustained,” reads the appeal. “It has to be unconditional. And it should include access to all people in need by whatever routes necessary.”
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the general secretary of the WCC, said that new hope regarding the end of the conflict in Syria is coupled with the grave needs of millions of people. “We must seize the opportunity to focus on the well-being of communities, and accompany them further down the path of justice and peace.”
The appeal urges the parties to the conflict and their international sponsors to guarantee access for humanitarian and medical workers to assess the wellbeing of civilians in all communities and treat those who are sick and injured without obstacle or restriction.