Since the earthquake struck at dawn on Monday, international cross-border aid to the stricken areas of northwestern Syria, which used to reach those areas through the Bab al-Hawa crossing, has stopped under a Security Council resolution.
Reuters quoted a spokesman for the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs as saying that the cross-border movement of aid from Turkey to Syria remains stalled due to logistical issues. It is unclear when it will resume.
Earthquake Wreaks Havoc on Already Bereaved Northern Syria
Aid flows from Turkey to northwest Syria have temporarily stopped due to the fallout of a devastating earthquake, a U.N. spokesperson said on Tuesday. This leaves aid workers grappling with the problem of how to help people in a country fractured by war.
There was no clear picture of when the aid – upon which some 4 million people depend – would resume, Madevi Sun-Suon, spokesperson for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA), told Reuters.
“Some roads are destroyed, some are inaccessible. There are logistical issues that need to be worked through,” she said.
“We are exploring all avenues to reach people in need,” she said.
The Anadolu Agency quoted a UN spokesman as saying that the transfer of urgent aid provided by the United Nations to northwestern Syria via Turkey has been suspended “temporarily” against the backdrop of the destruction caused by the earthquake in the infrastructure in both countries.
For its part, the U.S. State Department called for the opening of the Bab al-Hawa crossing between Turkey and Syria, saying that the crossing “must remain open to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need.”
International aid to Syria used to reach Turkey mostly through Antakya airport and then to Bab al-Hawa, but the road between Antakya and the crossing was primarily destroyed by the earthquake amid difficulty in coordinating with the Turkish authorities.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.