Aid Agencies: UN Security Council Must Reconvene and Pass Resolution for Ceasefire

We are appalled at the failure of the UN Security Council to authorise a resolution demanding a humanitarian ceasefire and unconditional release of hostages held in Gaza. If implemented, this would have provided much needed respite for civilians in Gaza who are under constant bombardment. This was a missed opportunity to stop the violence.  

 We are two months into the crisis and complete siege of Gaza. Gaza is now the deadliest place for civilians in the world. Nowhere is safe. Humanitarians are unable to operate effectively and safely under the current conditions. Supply of aid is severely restricted, and not even a fraction of what is needed. The only way for civilian lives to be protected and for adequate humanitarian assistance to be provided is for the fighting to stop.

80 per cent of those returning are women and children who are exposed to heightened protection risks on the journey back to Afghanistan. Mariam*, a mother of five who is confined in a living space with 11 family members, shares her family’s struggles in meeting their needs: 

People do not have access to food and water. The healthcare system has collapsed, attacks on hospitals have left much of Gaza’s population without access to any treatment. The outbreak of disease is threatening lives further. We need to reach people now.  It is unjustifiable that Security Council members would veto a resolution calling for a halt to fighting when the humanitarian case for a ceasefire is so clear. 

 The Secretary-General sent a clear demand for the fighting to stop, invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter for the first time since 1989.  Council members cannot ignore the horrific conditions in Gaza. Action must be guided by the urgent humanitarian imperative to stop fighting, rather than politics.

 We call on the UN Security Council to urgently reconvene and pass a resolution, which demands a sustained ceasefire, for parties to uphold their obligations under international law and to create the conditions needed to enable humanitarian aid to reach civilians. 

Signed by,

Action Against Hunger

CARE International 

International Rescue Committee

Mercy Corps

Norwegian Refugee Council

Oxfam International

Plan International

Save the Children International