First UN aid reaches NW Syria as death toll tops 17,000

TEHRAN, Feb. 09 (MNA) – The first United Nations aid convoy since a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck on Monday has crossed into northwest Syria from Turkey, the UN has confirmed.

Six trucks of “shelter items and non-food item kits, including blankets and hygiene kits” reached Bab al-Hawa on Thursday, the only border crossing authorized by the UN Security Council for aid delivery, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

“The UN cross-border aid operation has been reinstated today,” Sanjana Quazi, Head of OCHA in Turkey, told Al Jazeera.

“We are relieved that we were able to reach the people in northwest Syria in this pressing time. We hope that this operation continues as this is a humanitarian lifeline and the only scalable channel.”

Future convoys will have different types of aid provided by different UN agencies, such as medical supplies and food items.

The flow of humanitarian aid had been temporarily disrupted since the first pre-dawn quake hit on Monday due to logistical issues and damage to the road connecting Gaziantep to the UN transshipment hub in Hatay.

The death toll from the Turkey-Syria earthquakes has passed 17,000. At least 14,000 people have died in Turkey, according to the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while at least 3,162 have been killed in Syria.


News Code 197229


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