Shadow Minister for International Development, Anna McMorrin MP exposes UK Government’s missed opportunities to avert suffering of millions of Syrians reliant on cross-border humanitarian aid, as her urgent calls fall on deaf ears.

Anna McMorrin MP has repeatedly called on the Secretary of State for International Development to exert influence on the UN Security Council and seek the renewal and extension of vital cross-border routes, but her calls have been left unanswered.

Securing the renewal of UN Security Council Resolution 2504 would facilitate the effective delivery of vital humanitarian aid into Syria which offers a lifeline to millions in war-torn Syria. It’s expiration could see United Nations operations in North West Syria cease[1] and risks suffering on an immeasurable scale. Syria’s health system has already been decimated by war, with 70% of healthcare workers having already fled the region.

Anna McMorrin said:

“Three UN Security Council meetings have passed and the UK has again failed to act. We are moving ever closer to severing the lifeline for millions whilst the UK silently facilitates bureaucratic obstacles to vital humanitarian aid. The UK Government’s silence is deafening when faced with its own mantra of ‘no one left behind’.

Now is not the time for political point scoring. We cannot allow consensus on cross-border assistance to fray. The cost of the mandate unravelling is too high a price to pay – not only risking thousands of Syrian lives, but the lives of UK citizens if the incubation of the virus results in a second wave. Strong leadership from the UK on this is imperative.”

In a further letter to the Secretary of State, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Anna McMorrin MP wrote:

In my letter, I stressed the urgency for the UK to use its influence on the Council to push for the renewal of Resolution 2504 and to press for the reauthorisation of the border crossing at Al Yarubiyah, outlining the potentially catastrophic impact on our humanitarian response in the region if we do not demonstrate global leadership now.


The severity of pre-existing issues in Syria compounded by COVID19 and the inability of fragile and low-income states and regions to tackle the virus effectively will have implications for our own safety and security at home. There is a moral and practical imperative for us to act to protect global public health as well as supporting the most vulnerable groups among us globally.”

The Shadow Minister highlighted the discrepancies between the UK Government’s actions to date and the sentiment expressed by the UK’s UN Security Council representative meeting and pressed for confirmation of the UK’s stance.

There are no further UN Security Council meetings on the situation in Syria planned for this month.

[1] Cross-border Aid, Covid-19, and U.S. Decisions in Syria | Center for Strategic and International Studies

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