Martin Griffiths, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, acknowledged that the organization had failed people in northwestern Syria after it was late in delivering aid to victims of the region’s devastating earthquake.
Griffiths tweeted: “They are right that we have abandoned them. It is our duty to correct this mistake as soon as possible.”
The UN spokeswoman stressed in her tweet the importance of helping to save hundreds of children, women and men who are still alive under the rubble.
Raed Al-Saleh, Director of Syrian Civil Defense, said after meeting with Martin Griffiths, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs: “Mr. Griffin’s apology for shortcomings and mistakes and acknowledging the mistake is the start of the right path. The United Nations must now work outside the Security Council to open three checkpoints and deploy an emergency response to northwestern Syria as soon as possible.”
The Department of Political Affairs in Idlib said that on the seventh day after the earthquake disaster, the UN is still unable to provide relief to those affected by the earthquake in northwestern Syria, and until now they have not received a clear plan from the UN regarding saving civilians.
They added that they hold the United Nations responsible for politicizing the emergency response directed at civilians in the liberated areas, through its statements, calls and insistence on humanitarian missions through the areas of the criminal Syrian regime of Bashar Assad.
The Department has confirmed its support for, and the facilitation of, humanitarian work in northwestern Syria, but stressed that they are looking for practical mechanisms that contribute to alleviating the suffering of the people at the present time. They affirmed that the doors of the liberated north are open to all press teams and humanitarian organizations that want to witness the reality and directly observe the tragedy.
The Syria Response Coordinating Team (SRCT) confirmed that the UN is not involved in supporting people affected by the earthquake in northern Syria, and that it works only on a minimal basis and is limited to relief campaigns with donations from other countries. Furthermore, the SRCT categorically denied claims by the Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General that road conditions were causing delays in humanitarian assistance.