Andy Baker, Oxfam’s lead for the Syria Crisis Response, said:
“There is absolutely no excuse for the shocking attack yesterday on an aid convoy in rural Aleppo. The aid workers on the convoy were delivering much needed help to thousands of people and Oxfam is appalled and outraged that many of them lost their lives doing so.
“This convoy had been waiting for a green light from warring parties since the ceasefire agreed by the US and Russia came into effect days ago. Everyone knew its movements. The attack should be investigated immediately and those responsible should be held to account. Attacks on aid workers are crimes under international law.
“With the Syrian military announcing the ceasefire over and an escalation in violence across the country, there is the real risk that Syria will fall even further into the abyss. Russia and the US must immediately rein in their allies on the ground, provide effective guarantees for aid workers to deliver assistance in safety and demand accountability for this attack.
“Now that the UN has announced the suspension of all aid convoys, hundreds of thousands of Syrians in desperate need of help are forced to sit and wait. This situation is intolerable. World powers meeting today in New York need to act without any further delay and guarantee access to all civilians in need.”
Oxfam’s humanitarian response:
- The UN has approved the inclusion of 9,000 mini hygiene kits on the September convoy waiting to move from Damascus into Aleppo. These are small to save room and include shampoo, washing powder, feminine hygiene products, etc. It is pending the approval of the government of Syria.
- Another 5,000 similar kits are planned for the October convoy.
- Geneset: The Suleiman Halabi water station was without grid power for 41 days. It came back on September 16. During that time, the Oxfam generator was functioning with fuel delivered by Unicef to pump water to nearly 2 million people across conflict lines.