O’Brien: International community must increase funding for humanitarian response programs in Syria

Damascus, SANA – The United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien called on the international community to increase funding for humanitarian response programs in Syria, expressing concern over lack of resources and funding which will have a negative impact on humanitarian operations.

In a press conference held on Monday at the Four Seasons Hotel in Damascus, O’Brien called for working towards protecting civilians and respecting international humanitarian law, voicing hope for the possibility of reaching a political solution that can allow people to resume their normal lives.

Regarding terrorists’ act of cutting off water supplies for Damascus, Aleppo, and Daraa, O’Brien said that it’s unacceptable to use the availability of water as a weapon in war, and said in another context that UN agencies treat all areas in an impartial manner, stressing the humanitarian workers must focus on the humanitarian situation rather than military and political issues.

In response to a question by SANA on the state of Syrians in refugee camps, O’Brien underlined the need to protect them, ensure their safety, provide humanitarian aid to them, and treat them in a humane manner.

Regarding his meetings with Syrian officials, O’Brien said that he held constructive talks on how to boost humanitarian relief in light of the limited available sources, voicing appreciation of humanitarian workers and their commitment to their work despite the many challenges they face.

Hazem Sabbagh

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