Geneva - The first convoy of six trucks carrying humanitarian aid to Northwest Syria departed today (09/02) from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Burç warehouse in Gaziantep, Türkiye. This is the first cross-border shipment by a member of the UN system following the earthquake.
The cross-border assistance from IOM is carrying blankets, mattresses, tents, and shelter material as well as basic relief items and solar lamps and is set to cover the needs of at least 5000 people, with support from our local partners.
Thousands of people have been killed and others injured following a devastating earthquake earlier this week, hitting mainly Türkiye and Northwest Syria.
"This is a catastrophe for the region, and our hearts go out to all those affected, who lost loved ones, homes, and livelihoods. We are working very closely with authorities to support in any way we can and hope that aid will quickly reach those most impacted," says IOM Director General António Vitorino.
Nearly 12 years of conflict has left 15.3 million Syrians in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Already basic infrastructure and services were destroyed by years of conflict, and in Northwest Syria alone, 4.1 million people who rely on humanitarian aid are enduring extremely difficult living conditions, in freezing weather.
In 2014, IOM Türkiye started its first Cross-Border Programme for Northwest Syria with a focus on the procurement, storage, shipment, and distribution of life-saving humanitarian relief items. Since that time, IOM’s cross-border operations have grown to include humanitarian activities in different sectors, including provision of shelter, water and sanitation, relief items, protection, and food security.
IOM appeals to the international community to stand in solidarity with all those affected by this tragedy, mobilize financial resources, and collectively work together to respond to the rising humanitarian needs of all those affected.
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