India calls on UNSC members to end politicisation of humanitarian aid to Syrian citizens

New York [US]: India on Thursday (local time) called on the members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to end the politicisation of humanitarian aid as it deprives the Syrian citizens of urgent aid.

Speaking at the UNSC, Ambassador TS Tirumurti Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, said, “Humanitarian assistance in Syria — be it cross-border or crossline must take into consideration the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria.”

He further said that all parties need to protect health and humanitarian workers.

“The scale, severity and complexity of the the humanitarian needs should provoke the collective conscience of this council, particularly those who advocate the linking of the humanitarian aid with the political track, which then deprives its citizens of urgent aid,” he said.

At the UNSC, India reiterated that it continues to stand “shoulder to shoulder with people of Syria in this grave hour of need”.

Speaking on India’s assistance to Syria, Tirumurti said, “Earlier this month, responding to request for emergency humanitarian assistance from the Syrian government, India delivered over 2,000 metric tonnes rice.”

Syria’s civil war began during the Arab Spring in 2011 as a peaceful uprising against the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad. It has since escalated — shattering the lives of Syrians, destroying cities, straining global politics, and spurring diplomatic efforts that are constantly questioned as the world is witnessing the horrors of ongoing warfare.

Earlier, India had gifted 10 metric tonnes of medicines in July 2020 to Syria as part of COVID-19 assistance.

Prior to that, over 500 Syrians benefited from the artificial limbs (Jaipur foot) fitment camp organised by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in partnership with Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) in Damascus during January 2020.

During the academic years 2018-19 and 2019-20, 1000 scholarships were extended to Syrian students for pursuing bachelors, masters and post-doctoral programmes in Indian universities under ‘Study in India’ initiative.

India is also establishing a NextGen Centre for Information Technology in Damascus, for which preparatory work has commenced, the MEA earlier said.

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