Humanitarian Briefing on the Situation in Syria organized by Switzerland

Bern, Press release, 23.02.2012


Upon an initiative of Switzerland, a meeting on the coordination of humanitarian aid for Syria took place on Thursday in Geneva.

This briefing is part of the follow-up to the informal meeting held on 17 February in Berlin, which provided a platform for a substantial exchange of views on the humanitarian situation in Syria and a discussion of options for the future. 

The Geneva meeting brought together government representatives from the key countries, including those in the neighbouring region, as well as representatives of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), and other humanitarian actors strongly involved in the Syrian context.  

The meeting pointed out the urgent need to improve the conditions of humanitarian access to the civilian population of Syria due to the escalating humanitarian needs. The participants came to an agreement on the role of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in this regard. Against this background, the announcement of a visit to Damascus by Ms. Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, was applauded by the entire assembly. 

The meeting also provided an opportunity to reiterate the importance of the independence, the impartiality, and the neutrality of humanitarian aid. 

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