Eleven years after the start of the conflict in Syria, the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of the war in Ukraine have made the economic situation in the war-torn country even worse. FRANCE 24 interviewed Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, who recently met President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Maurer said Assad was «very aware of the international environment and the pressure it exerts on Syria» and that the Syrian leader was «grateful for the humanitarian work» but «crystal clear in his vision that things cannot go on this way».
Asked about the situation in Ukraine, where the ICRC has been involved in implementing humanitarian corridors, Maurer said the organisation «succeeded in some places – Mariupol, Sumy and others – in reaching populations that are difficult to access. We succeeded in doing some things but not enough, because trust between the parties is not there sufficiently to create humanitarian corridors that are more performing, more open, more safe for the population.»