As the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Syria continues to require an extensive and sustained response from the humanitarian community to provide the affected population with critical cross-sectoral assistance, the Logistics Cluster continues to play a key role in facilitating inter-agency humanitarian convoys to UN-declared besieged and hard-to-reach areas.

The coordination of the Inter-Agency Humanitarian Convoys entails close collaboration with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Syria-based United Nations agencies and INGOs to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to areas that can’t normally be reached by single organizations due to access constraints.

In March, through Inter-Agency Humanitarian Convoys, the Logistics Cluster facilitated free-to-user transport of over 6,400 m³ of relief items including food, health kits, blankets, winter clothing, medicine, water purification kits, education material, hygiene kits and protection items, among others, enabling seven organisations to deliver comprehensive inter-sectoral assistance to people in need in some of the worst affected areas of the country.

Nine inter-agency convoys to areas of Rural Damascus and Homs governorates were conducted during March, a sharp increase compared to the total of three convoys that were conducted over January and February 2017.

In 2016, over 100 Inter-Agency Humanitarian Convoys were facilitated to access hard-to-reach and besieged areas within Syria, more than a threefold increase compared to 2015, when only 32 joint convoys were conducted.

To further strengthen its logistics support to the whole humanitarian community responding to the Syria crisis, the Logistics Cluster, through WFP, increased the SARC fleet with the donation of 45 trucks between 2013 and 2016, and plans to donate an additional 10 trucks in 2017, thanks to a grant provided by the Syria Humanitarian Fund managed by OCHA. These trucks have been a great asset for the Inter-Agency convoys as they augment SARC’s capacity to support the whole humanitarian community involved in the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the affected populations within Syria.