First U.N. aid enters northwest Syria from newly-opened crossing

First U.N. aid enters northwest Syria from newly-opened crossing
The first convoy of U.N. aid entered northwestern Syria from Turkey via a newly-opened border crossing on Tuesday.
2 min read
14 February, 2023
The convoy entered Syria through the Bab Al-Salam crossing [Getty]

A first convoy of U.N. aid entered rebel-held northwest Syria from Turkey via the newly-opened Bab al-Salam crossing on Tuesday, two U.N. spokespeople said, as the world body ramps up relief efforts in the aftermath of last week's deadly quake.

The U.N. has so far sent more than 50 trucks of aid through another crossing, Bab al-Hawa. It said on Monday said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had allowed the use of two more crossings, Bab Al-Salam and Al-Raee, for an initial period of three months.

A spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) told Reuters the agency "were the first humanitarians to send 11 trucks through Bab al-Salam crossing point," on Tuesday.

The IOM also sent six trucks through Bab al-Hawa on Tuesday, the spokesperson said.

"The quake aid included new arrival kits, kitchen sets, comprehensive hygiene kits, comprehensive shelter kit(s)," they said, adding 15 more trucks of aid would go through the same two crossings on Friday.

The U.N. has admitted shortcomings in its initial response to the earthquake in the heavily-hit northwest region where some four million people were already in need of aid before the tremor and needs have now significantly increased.

On Tuesday, it appealed for nearly $400 million to address urgent humanitarian needs over the next three months, noting that $8.8 million Syrians had been affected, mostly in the country's northwest.

More than 5,814 have died in Syria according to a Reuters tally of reports from Syrian state media and a U.N. agency, which said that at least 4,400 had died in the northwest.