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syria update unric italy feb 2017

9 feb - Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura alarmed at lack of humanitarian access

Speaking to reporters in Geneva on 7 February, the Spokeswoman for the Office of the Special Envoy for Syria (OSE), Yara Sharif, said that the Envoy was alarmed at the failed humanitarian access in January. Out of 21 requests for convoys to deliver aid to more than 900,000 people only one convoy delivered aid. She added that January had marked the worst month since March 2016 and there was an urgent need to move on with the other convoys as some areas had not received any humanitarian aid for more than 100 days. On Mr. de Mistura’s visit to the United States, she said that he was appreciative of the opportunity to have conducted successful meetings with the new US administration. His bilateral meeting with the US Secretary of State Rex Wayne Tillerson on 3 February had been positive. The Special Envoy had briefed the latter on the upcoming intra-Syrian negotiations scheduled for 20 February in Geneva. Regarding the meeting held in Astana, Kazakhstan, on 6 February to discuss the implementation of the ceasefire, Mr. de Mistura had expressed hope that these efforts would strengthen the truce on the ground and contribute to the UN facilitated intra-Syrian negotiations. 

Flow of foreign terrorist fighters into Iraq and Syria slowing down
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed the Security Council on 7 February on the Secretary-General’s fourth report on the threat posed by Da’esh to international peace and security. The report notes that the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to Iraq and Syria has slowed considerably due to increased control measures of Member States and the diminished “attractiveness” of Da’esh as a result of military pressure. However, some Member States neighbouring Iraq and Syria, as well as in the Maghreb, are currently dealing with returnees from Iraq and Syria travelling through their territory and the significant number of foreign terrorist fighters who were stopped en route Syria. He also noted that while ISIL is on the defensive, it is also adapting to military pressure by resorting to covert communications such as the ‘dark web’. 

UN provides emergency water to residents of Aleppo
The UN is gravely concerned that since 14 January, an estimated 1.8 million people in Aleppo city and rural eastern Aleppo in Syria have been cut off from their main source of water, which is under Da’esh control. UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on 6 February that “the UN continues to respond to the water crisis by supplying fuel to operate 100 deep wells, and is supporting emergency water trucking, reaching nearly one million people in need of water assistance”. The UN continues to call for “unconditional, unimpeded and sustained access to all 4.72 million people in hard-to-reach locations across the country,” including more than 600,000 in besieged locations. 

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator visits Syrian refugees in Jordan
Stephen O’Brien, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, completed a two-day visit to Jordan on 6 February. The country is the third-largest host of Syrian refugees in the region. During his visit, Mr. O’Brien met with senior Jordanian officials, including Prime Minister Hani Mulki and General Mahmoud Frihat, the head of the Jordanian Armed Forces. He also visited the Azraq refugee camp, which is operated by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

UNHCR-UK mission urges support to Lebanon’s response to Syrian crisis
During a joint visit to Lebanon on 4 February, United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi called for urgent international support to Lebanon and Syrian refugees. “The humanitarian situation for Syrian refugees in Lebanon remains very serious,” said Mr. Grandi. “They are stretched to breaking point and so are the Lebanese communities that have unconditionally welcomed and hosted them. The international community needs to redouble its support to Lebanon during this critical time and share responsibility for refugees and host communities.” With a ratio of one refugee to every four Lebanese, Lebanon has been at the forefront of one of the worst humanitarian crises worldwide. The Government of Lebanon and its national and international partners last month appealed for US$2.8 billion to provide critical humanitarian assistance and protection. 

Italy contributes EUR 2.25 Million to support UNRWA emergency operations
The Government of Italy on 7 February contributed EUR 2.25 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to support the agency’s emergency operations in response to the Syria crisis. Of the estimated 450,000 Palestine refugees who remain inside Syria, over 95 per cent are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance to survive. Over 120,000 Palestine refugees from Syria have fled the country, including around 31,000 to Lebanon and 16,000 to Jordan – many of them have been pushed into a precarious and marginalized existence due to their uncertain legal status and face limited social protection, making them heavily reliant on UNRWA for their basic needs. 

UN concerned by attack on Syrian Arab Red Crescent office in Idlib
UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told journalists on 2 February that the United Nations was deeply concerned by the attack on the Carlton Hotel in Syria’s Idlib city that damaged administrative offices of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). The president of the SARC Idlib branch was injured in the attack. “We call on all parties to cease attacks that impact humanitarian workers and humanitarian offices. All humanitarian organizations in Syria — working only to assist people in need — must be protected. We further call on all parties to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure from the effects of hostilities and refrain from using explosive weapons in populated areas, as required by international humanitarian law”, he said. 

Chemical weapons investigation mission prevented from verifying production facilities
In his fortieth monthly report submitted by the Secretary-General to the Security Council, the Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that the security situation on the ground prevented safe access to three remaining weapons production facilities. The report covers verification operations from 22 December 2016 to 22 January 2017. “The situation with regard to the destruction of the chemical weapons production facilities declared by Syria is unchanged. OPCW has verified the destruction of 24 of the 27 facilities”, the OPCW Chief noted. 

UN Radio in Arabic

UN Envoy for Syria welcomes the first meeting of the Joint Group to monitor the cease-fire  
مبعوث الأمم المتحدة لسوريا يرحب بالاجتماع الأول للفريق المشترك لمراقبة وقف إطلاق النار
UN High Commissioner for Refugees underlines the importance of continued international aid for Syrian refugees
المفوض السامي لشؤون اللاجئين يؤكد أهمية مواصلة تقديم المساعدات الدولية للاجئين السوريين
UN provides emergency water in Aleppo
سوريا: الأمم المتحدة تستجيب لانقطاع المياه في حلب من خلال توفير الوقود اللازم لتشغيل مئة بئر عميقة
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi asks Lebanese to be patient regarding the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland
فيليبو غراندي يطلب من اللبنانيين التحلي بالصبر فيما يتعلق بعودة اللاجئين السوريين إلى ديارهم
United Nations voices concern about the destruction of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent offices in Idlib
الأمم المتحدة تبدي القلق بشأن تدمير مكاتب الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري في إدلب

United Nations ‏@UN 8 February
Update from @OCHA_Syria on emergency water deliveries around Aleppo, as 1.8 million cut off from water supply

UN Radio ‏@UN_Radio - 7 February
#Humanitarian aid deliveries to desperate #Syrians last month largely "failed": @UN negotiator Staffan de Mistura.

United Nations Retweeted- 7 February
UN News Centre ‏@UN_News_Centre

#UN envoy welcomes #Astana follow-up meeting, ahead of @UN-facilitated intra-#SyriaTalks

United Nations Retweeted- 7 February
UN Radio ‏@UN_Radio
#Humanitarian aid deliveries to desperate #Syrians last month largely "failed": @UN negotiator Staffan de Mistura.

OCHA Syria ‏@OCHA_Syria 5 February
"The #UK is one of the top donors responding to the #SyriaCrisis and we thank them," @UNReliefChief visitng #Azraq refugee camp @DFID_UK

OCHA Syria Verified account ‏@OCHA_Syria 5 February
See @UNReliefChief message from #Azraq camp for #Syria-n refugees in #Jordan earlier today @DFID_UK @UNHCR @UNICEF

OCHA Syria ‏@OCHA_Syria- 5 February
All of former east #Aleppo #Syria now accessible, but reports of UXOs hindering access & delivery of aid, read:

[email protected] 3 February
Many household earners became unemployed = unable to meet needs. @KSRelief_EN support families via UNRWA #food assistance prog in #Syria

[email protected] – 2 February
With night time temperatures dropping below freezing in Syria, will you #shareyourwarmth with Palestine refugees?

Filippo Grandi ‏@RefugeesChief · 1 February
Why I believe that #refugees deserve international solidarity. Read this short story on my visit to #Aleppo.

United Nations shared UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency's live video- 4 February
The UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency chief Filippo Grandi is live from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, where he arrived after his visit to Syria this week, where he saw the devastation of war in Aleppo and Homs first-hand. Post your questions for him in the comments below

UNICEF Middle East and North Africa- 8 February 2017
After months of siege, heavy fighting and displacement, children in Aleppo returned to school as the second semester kicked off across Syria.
23 schools opened their doors to welcome 6,500 students from the eastern neighbourhoods of Aleppo. UNICEF distributed schools bags, stationary and text books to all the children. UNICEF and partners are also working to rehabilitate an additional 40 schools in the area in the coming months. An accelerated learning programme, specially designed for children who have been out of school, has been rolled out to help children catch up on the months and years of education they have missed out on.
UNHCR-Syria -7 February 2017
The High Commissioner of UNHCR, the UN Refugees Agency visited Syria for three days last week, where he travelled to #Homs and #Aleppo. Our chief had a chance to see the devastation that affected homes, mosques, churches and infrastructure. He met displaced Syrians and listened to their concerns. Mr. Grandi saw first hand what UNHCR is doing to deliver humanitarian assistance and bring relief to many affected Syrians. In the process he delivered key messages from #Syria to the #world.

Social media campaigns

#Shareyourwarmth- UNRWA launched its winter fundraising campaign #shareyourwarmth in December 2016 to support the needs of this vulnerable population affected by the Syrian crisis and bring respite during the cold months. 

#My Voice-My School is an UNRWA project launched in 2015 and implemented by Digital Explorer to connect schools in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon with schools in Europe and USA through Skype exchanges. Through live video conversations and customized teaching materials, students and teachers explore how education can help them meet their future aspirations. 

@ShareTheMeal: In April 2016, the World Food Programme launched its phone application to support fundraising efforts for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. ShareTheMeal’s fundraising aims to support 1,400 refugee children. Through the app, smartphone users can join thousands of other people in making donations and support a selected community and monitor progress. Since the launch of the campaign, nearly 7.5 million meals have been shared. 

#Unite4Heritage is a global movement run by UNESCO that aims to celebrate and safeguard cultural heritage and diversity around the world. Launched in response to the unprecedented attacks on world heritage sites, the campaign calls on everyone to stand up against extremism and radicalization by celebrating the places, objects and cultural traditions that make the world such a rich and vibrant place. 

#NoLostGeneration- The initiative was launched by UNICEF and partners in 2013 to focus attention on the plight of children affected by the Syrian crisis. By articulating real concerns about the possible ‘loss’ of a generation of children to the effects of violence and displacement, the initiative put education and child protection at the centre of the response inside Syria and across the refugee hosting countries (Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt). 

Relevant links to UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programmes on Syria

DPI Focus Page on Syria: 

UN System agencies :
OCHA: http:/,,
UNESCO Emergency Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage Project:
UNESCO Observatory of Syrian Cultural Heritage
UNESCO Bridging Learning Gaps for Youth:

UN on social media:

Photo galleries:

SDG Poster 2018 2


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