The UN will increase assistance in case of an earthquake in northwestern Syria. Last Minute WORLD headlines and events
UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator Muhannad Hadi announced that the UN will increase humanitarian assistance to the opposition-held region in northwestern Syria, hit by an earthquake in the coming days.
Hadi said that increasing humanitarian aid to the region to 40 trucks a day would still not be enough to alleviate the humanitarian crisis, that more medicines, food and temporary shelter were needed to fight diseases.
More than 280 humanitarian aid trucks have crossed the Turkish border in northwestern Syria since February 9, when the UN launched relief operations. Hadi said help arrived three days after the quake due to damage to the highway where the trucks were moving.
More than 90 percent of the more than 4 million people living in the northwestern region, controlled by groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, were able to meet their basic needs with help before the earthquake.
According to the UN, more than 4,500 people died in northwestern Syria as a result of the February 6 earthquake.
“We hope to be delivering 40 humanitarian aid trucks a day to the area very soon once we have access to more resources. This is double the number of trucks that went to the area before the earthquake,” Hadi said.
The increase in aid to northwestern Syria is achieved through additional border crossings from Turkey. The Bab el-Hawa border crossing used to be used with the approval of the UN Security Council. Assad gave the green light to open two more border crossings in three months.
The Syrian authorities have also given general approval for shipments to the northwest from areas controlled by the Syrian government for the same period.
However, the UN and other humanitarian organizations note that extremist forces are blocking these shipments. Other humanitarian organizations complain that the Damascus government is imposing security restrictions on the grounds that they are politicizing the distribution of aid.
The flow of urgently needed aid along these routes will increase as all parties approve UN access, UN spokesman Hadi said.
Hadi said: “We have goods and warehouses in areas under government control. When it comes to those in need, we need to think about efficiency and effectiveness. This has nothing to do with politics. We need access from all directions. ”
Hadi emphasized that the crisis could cause an increase in diseases in water resources due to significant damage to the infrastructure system, and said: “After the earthquake, we began to see cases and deaths suspected of cholera.”
Recalling that the northwestern region was hardest hit by the earthquake in Syria, Hadi noted that 8 million 800 thousand people in Syria were affected by the earthquake, and that donors should urgently respond to the request for $400 million on behalf of these people.
This fund will be added to the $4.8 billion needed for this year in Syria.
“If we cannot immediately raise funds and replenish our supplies, we will be in a very difficult situation,” Hadi said.
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