UNITED NATIONS - The Security Council Monday adopted a resolution aimed at increasing access to civilians in difficult-to-reach areas in Syria by authorising the delivery of assistance across borders and conflict lines, as the situation deteriorated in that war-torn country.

By the terms of the resolution, which was adopted unanimously by the 15-member Council, United Nations humanitarian agencies and their partners are authorised to use routes across conflict lines and as well as four additional border crossings – Bab al-Salam, Bab al-Hawa, Al Yarubiyah and Al-Ramtha.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the adoption of the resolution, which he said will allow the delivery of aid to people in need in Syria by the most direct routes.

“At least 10.8 million people inside Syria are in urgent need of assistance. Nearly half these people are in communities that are difficult for humanitarian agencies to reach,” said a statement issued by the secretary-general's spokesperson.

“This resolution is aimed at getting aid through the four border crossings specified to nearly three million people who have not had secure food supplies or access to basic healthcare for many months.”

Ban particularly welcomed the reference in the resolution to the delivery of medical and surgical supplies, as these items have frequently been removed from aid convoys, in violation of international humanitarian law.

The resolution also decided that all Syrian parties to the ongoing conflict “shall enable the immediate and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance directly to people throughout Syria, by the United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners, on the basis of United Nations assessments of need and devoid of any political prejudices and aims, including by immediately removing all impediments to the provision of humanitarian assistance.”