UNFPA Condemns Attacks on Health Facilities and Personnel in Syria

21 February 2018

Statement of Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA, the UN Population Fund, in response to Escalation of Violence in Syria

We are dismayed about the latest escalation of violence in Syria, most recently in eastern Ghouta and also in the north of Syria. Reports of civilian deaths and injuries seem to be the deadliest this week, with reports of attacks on hospitals, including on a maternal hospital in Saqba, in eastern Ghouta. Intensified mortar attacks on civilian neighbourhoods in Damascus have also resulted in the death, injury and suffering of civilians who have no say in this conflict.

As the UN agency promoting reproductive health, UNFPA condemns attacks on health facilities and personnel, in particular, facilities where women and young girls seek help. UNFPA reiterates its joint call with other United Nations agencies for a one-month cessation of hostilities to allow humanitarian organizations to evacuate wounded civilians and provide assistance to besieged areas. We and our United Nations humanitarian partners are on the ground inside Syria and ready to deploy as rapidly as we can. We call on all parties to spare civilians as stipulated by international humanitarian law, which clearly prohibits the targeting of non-combatants, and to allow humanitarian access in order to spare additional Syrian lives.