Statement of the humanitarian situation in al-Rikban camp

Statement of the humanitarian situation in al-Rikban camp

Statement of the humanitarian situation in al-Rikban camp

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Sunday 14th October 2018 11:12 AM

His excellency Antonio Guterres; UN Secretary General 

His excellency Mark Lowcock; UN under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief 

Al-Rukban Camp on the Syrian-Jordanian border is home to almost 46,000 civilians (of whom 19,500 are under 16 years old) split into (9,200 men, 10,300 women & 26,500 children); residents suffer from terrible living conditions the result of border closure from Jordan and nothing being allowed to enter from areas controlled by Government of Syria. 

The closure of the only medical point in the camp that was run by UNICEF left civilians without any medical care. 

Lack of Humanitarian Access from Jordan and from Government Controlled areas not helped by the nature of the area, meant that civilians were deprived from all humanitarian relief. 14 deaths were recorded in September 2018 most of them were women. 

Recent survey recorded many civilians with physical disabilities where 1460 are women, 1621 are men and are 4273 children.The IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) are Syrians from North East Syria, Eastern countryside of Homs and the Syrian Badia, who fled their homes following the declaration of the Caliphate State in 2014 by ISIS. 

Despite agreement made between community elders and Government of Syria on the 30th September 2018 to allow for humanitarian aid and for medical treatment in Damascus; the agreement was not honored by the Syrian Government and tighter controls were put in place. 

Civilians caught in armed conflicts have the right under the International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the International law of Human Rights and the Humanitarian Principles, to be supported and ease their suffering. IHL distinguishes between civilians and fighters, guarantees respect and protection of civilians who don’t participate or have ceased participation in armed hostilities, to be treated in a humane way providing them with aid. 

The provision of Protection and Aid in conflicts lay mainly with the authorities on whose lands arises the need for humanitarian aid. The International law states that “local authorities should bear the main responsibility of supplying life necessities to the civilians under their control”. 

Should the state fail to honor its commitments and responsibilities towards its own people or is unwilling to do that; International humanitarian law states that other acting parties, like humanitarian NGOs (ICRC & UN Agencies) should supply aid or facilitate the work of NGOs. 

We the undersigned and in accordance with our duties as humanitarian organizations committed to offering aid to people in need in accordance with the International Humanitarian Law we call for:

- An immediate end to besiegement of Al-Rukban Camp.

- Granting Aid Agencies full access to provide basic necessities and amenities. 

- We call on UN Agencies to enter the camp and provide aid.

- Evacuating all the patients in the camp, through the UN, to Jordan for treatment.