WHO-UNICEF – STATEMENT BY MARGARET CHAN, WHO DIRECTOR-GENERAL, AND ANTHONY LAKE, UNICEF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ON ATTACKS ON MEDICAL FACILITIES AND PERSONNEL IN SYRIA

GENEVA/NEW YORK- 29 APRIL, 2016, We join the many voices expressing outrage at the attack on Al Quds Hospital in Aleppo. Among those killed were two doctors, including one of the only remaining pediatricians in the city, three paramedics, and numerous patients, among them children.

We are outraged at the alarming frequency of attacks on health personnel and facilities in Syria. These incidents come amid an escalation of violence in particular in the northern parts of the country.

A few days ago, a mortar killed a gynecologist on his way home after treating wounded civilians at a UNICEF-supported clinic in Aleppo.

These attacks remind us of the enormous difficulties and dangers that Syrian health workers face every day. Those workers deserve more than our admiration. They deserve greater protection.

Attacks on them and on health facilities and the denial of healthcare services as well as medical equipment and supplies anywhere in Syria, are not only a blatant violation of International Humanitarian Law, but deprive families and communities of essential health care when they need it most.

UNICEF and WHO urge all parties to the conflict to end all attacks on health facilities, personnel and ambulances and to allow the provision of health services to the many innocent civilians in desperate need. Thousands of lives are at stake.