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Syrian Government Must Allow Humanitarian Organizations Access To All Syrians

Noting issues of security and access for humanitarian organizations working in Syria, Magne Barth, who heads the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Syria, writes in a Washington Post opinion piece, “If allowed, we could do much more to reduce the suffering of civilians, but it is increasingly difficult for us to enter contested areas and assist Syrians, let alone to protect them.” He states, “The Syrian government and other parties to the conflict must permit us to enter the many areas directly affected by fighting. They must then take concrete measures to ensure the safety of ICRC workers and the people we assist while respecting our right to bring help first to those in greatest need.” He continues, “Today, the ICRC and the [Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC)] can work in many parts of Syria, thanks to the understanding and support of Syrian authorities, armed groups and, most important, the Syrian people,” adding, “We seek to assist and protect all people affected by the conflict, regardless of their origin, religion or political affiliation.” He concludes, “Humanitarian workers must be allowed to relieve the plight of ordinary Syrians. They are bearing the brunt of this conflict” (11/8).