The UN estimates that 10.9 million Syrians in the northwestern provinces of Hama, Latakia, Idlib, Aleppo and Tartus have been affected by the earthquake that rocked the country on Monday, the UN’s top representative in Syria said on Wednesday. Was.
But even before the quake, a humanitarian crisis triggered by the war that began 12 years ago left 15.3 million people in need of aid, at least four of whom needed the most basic items to survive.
El-Mustafa Benlamlih said, “This is another crisis upon crisis,” noting that “these figures will now have to be reviewed.”
,We already had a very weak position, The people (are) already weak, they are not able to take care of themselves (…) and suddenly it comes“Added the official briefing the press in New York via videoconferencing from Damascus.
Bahalmalih expressed sadness that many gains made over the years in the war-torn country have been lost.
“All our earlier achievements are lost, those who had a small business have lost it, those who could no longer go to school, women who could go to security centers, they can no longer. So it is a terrible The situation is.” Benlamalih said.
To make matters worse, Wednesday’s snowfall in Syria added to an already dire situation In which there are people whose lives have been destroyed by the earthquake.
Some 100,000 people are believed to have been rendered homeless in Aleppo alone, the aid official continued, adding that only 30,000 of that number had found shelter in schools and mosques.
“They are lucky,” he said, before insisting the remaining 70,000 “have snow, are cold and live in a terrible condition.”
last minute helpline
Benlamalih confirmed that roads leading to Bab al-Hawa, the only route for aid across the border to enter northwestern Syria from Turkey, had been damaged and expressed hope that the crossing would reopen on Thursday. Will open
“Fortunately, today we have learned that the road is opening (…) We hope that tomorrow we can deliver something across the border,” he insisted Relief teams from the UN and its partners began working “from the first hours of the disaster”. Using food stores and first aid kits.
Also at the press conference, Muhannad Hadi, the UN Regional Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs for the Syrian Crisis, stressed the urgent need to get aid to those in need.
,We aim to reach people, For us, cross-border aid and aid between the lines are complementary modalities,” he said. “The most important thing is that we reach out to people now, who are desperate for help in this desperate situation. We see pictures on television, children are stranded in very harsh winter, it is snowing, it is really heart-wrenching.”
Three days after twin earthquakes struck neighboring Turkey, the situation in Syria remains grim and even more uncertain.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has noted that UN staff and partners stationed in Gaziantep have also been directly affected by the disaster, with some searching for their families in the rubble.
More than 50 emergency response and search and rescue teams have been deployed to the area And the aforementioned office has also reported that the UN has released $25 million in emergency funds to support the response.
Distribute hot food to earthquake victims
On the other hand, it has also become known today that while an emergency humanitarian appeal is being prepared for the victims of Syria and Turkey, UN agencies including the World Food Program (WFP) are hard at work distributing vital aid. Is doing. Distributing food since Tuesday with the intention of helping five lakh people in both the countries.
“We work tirelessly to help those who most urgently need help,” said those responsible for that UN agency.
until this morning, Has already distributed 64,000 rations of ready-to-eat foodThe family packs and warm meals to combat the low winter temperatures.
In southeastern Turkey, the area closest to the quake’s epicenter, the UN agency is helping refugees in temporary camps and will provide packages of family food for one to two weeks in damaged areas where markets were closed while services were stable. It will also support municipalities in the southeast to reactivate and expand soup kitchens established during the pandemic.
In Syria, the program has also distributed ready-to-eat rations and daily hot meals to 38,000 people living in shelters and reported that There is enough food ready for 125,000 people in the country’s northwestwhere 90% of the population, or 4.1 million people, are dependent on humanitarian assistance.
“WFP continues to Call for free access to northwestern SyriaNow more than ever, there is an urgent need for humanitarian aid to reach those affected by the earthquake. Corinne Fleisher, the agency’s regional director for the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe, said: “The nature has tragically affected people who are already experiencing compounded suffering and displacement.”
Before the earthquake, WFP assisted 5.5 million people every month across Syria. However, a lack of funds may force the agency to cut its operations by 70% in July.