|Feb. 13, 2019 -- Workers from the United Nations and its humanitarian colleagues, using "increased risk mitigation measures," are delivering critical aid to 2.4 million people in northwest Syria, the spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday.
"The humanitarian response in northwest Syria is continuing, while humanitarian workers take increased risk mitigation measures after an increase in fighting among non-state armed groups last month and expanded control by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)," said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman.
"Despite the difficult operating environment, the UN and nongovernmental organizations continue to deliver assistance in the area," he said. "Some 2.4 million Syrians are now being reached with critical food, medicine, tents, and winter supplies each month, primarily through cross-border operations from Turkey."
However, there are still 2.7 million men, women and children in need of some form of humanitarian assistance in the northwest of Syria, Dujarric told reporters at a regular briefing.
"The UN continues to call on all parties, and those with influence over them, to facilitate sustained and unhindered access by all humanitarian actors to independently assess needs and provide services to persons affected by the conflict," he said. "This is particularly important where developments on the ground have resulted in a change of control over populated areas."
He also said efforts to end the conflict were continuing with UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen in Berlin on Tuesday for meetings with the German foreign minister and senior government officials.
"In his ongoing tour of relevant stakeholders, Pedersen remains focused on a political solution based on Security Council Resolution 2254, which affirms Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity and foresees a Syrian-led and owned political solution facilitated by the United Nations," Dujarric said.
"In this process, the special envoy is attentive to possible confidence-building measures toward a calm, neutral and safe environment in which such a solution can be realized," he said.