Beirut. The first humanitarian aid convoy from the United Nations (UN) arrived today in opposition-held areas of northwestern Syria through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing that connects Syria’s Idlib province with Turkey, nearly four days after the first earthquake. , the person responsible for the transition told EFE.

Teams have finished unloading the contents of the six vehicles that make up the convoy at the border crossing itself, and the materials will now be distributed to opposition areas by UN partner NGOs, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said, The supplies include tents, blankets, mats, diapers, hygiene kits and cleaning supplies, but the trucks did not have baskets of food or technical materials that could help in the rescue efforts after the earthquake.

The shipment of this cargo was planned even before the earthquakes as part of regular UN deliveries and was suspended due to the disastercausing damage to nearby roads on both the Turkish and Syrian sides, although some were still passable.

These are the first shipments to arrive in Idlib since the first earthquake struck southeastern Turkey early Monday morning.

Bab al-Hawa is the only direct route for supplies to the Syrian opposition-held areas of Idlib and Aleppo provinces, home to more than 4 million people who were dependent on humanitarian aid before the disaster and up to 3 million internally displaced people.

The only other alternative is so-called “trans-line” supplies from areas under the control of Bashar al-Assad’s government, an option that has many limitations and which the UN plans to use to send a convoy to the northwest in the coming days, according to its spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

So, The UN General Secretariat yesterday appealed to the countries of the Security Council to explore the possibility of allowing the use of more border crossing points to speed up the flow of aid to conflict regions. which can be reached from the other two passes as Turkey is now closed.

The issue of cross-border aid to opposition areas in Syria has been a highly contentious issue in recent years at the Security Council, where a veto by Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, has reduced the number of crossings available for exit to just one.

Similarly, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, asked today to allow humanitarian aid to reach areas of Syria affected by last Monday’s earthquakes without hindrance, and not to politicize the emergency.

At a press conference in Geneva, Pedersen reiterated that the Syrian population needs all kinds of humanitarian aid to withstand the devastation caused by the earthquake and severe cold in the north of the country, the most affected region.

This natural disaster also deepens the suffering of the population after 12 years of civil war.

PHOTO: Heartbreaking scenes in Turkey and Syria after the earthquakes
19 Photos
More than four thousand people died, thousands of buildings were destroyed.

“These are difficult times, incredible pain for those of us who are not there, there are no words to describe the situation,” complained a UN representative, who described the earthquake as “one of the worst disasters to hit the region in recent times.” century”.

Pedersen also praised the “unity” of various international players, including the European Union and the United States, which pledged to provide aid to all affected areas of Syria, both those controlled by Bashar al-Assad’s government forces and those ruled by the opposition.

For their part, the heads of state and government of the European Union (EU) assured this Thursday that they are ready to provide additional support to both countries.

“The European Council (leaders) reaffirms the readiness of the Union to provide additional assistance to alleviate the suffering in all affected regions,” read the leaders’ conclusions on the earthquake, approved at a summit held in Brussels today.

Twenty-seven expressed their “deepest condolences to the victims” and expressed “solidarity” with the people of Turkey and Syria.

They also recalled that after the natural disaster, the EU sent about 1,600 people to help with rescue operations.

They also welcomed the international donors’ conference to mobilize funds to support the earthquake-affected people of Turkey and Syria, which will take place in Brussels in March and is organized by the European Commission and the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU.

“The European Council calls on all to guarantee humanitarian access to the victims of the earthquake in Syria, regardless of where they are. The European Union and its member states have mobilized additional resources to support humanitarian efforts. He asks the humanitarian community under the auspices of the UN to ensure the rapid delivery of aid,” twenty-seven said.

At the beginning of the summit, the heads of state and government observed a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

The leaders also sent a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterating their “deepest condolences” over the deaths caused by the natural disaster.

“Our thoughts are with all the families who have lost loved ones and with all those who are still waiting for news. We wish many victims a speedy recovery. In these dire circumstances, we pay tribute to the brave rescuers who work day and night to save human lives,” they said.

They emphasized that they are “ready” to “further intensify” their support “in close coordination” with the Turkish authorities.

The death toll from the earthquakes across the country so far stands at 3,162 and the number of injured is at least 5,235, including in opposition-held and Damascus-held areas. Taking into account the dead in Turkey, this number exceeds 16 thousand.