31 tons of UN aids From Damascus to displaced persons in Hasaka
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) airlifted 31 metric tons of medical supplies and Core Relief Items (CRIs) from Damascus to Qamishly, northeastern Syria. The life-saving items include medicines, vaccines, and medical equipment in addition to winterized relief items including thermal clothes, plastic sheets, sleeping mats, kitchen set, jerry cans, sanitary napkins, hygiene kit, and baby and elderly diapers.
“The 16 metric tons of medical supplies are sent in response to the dire humanitarian needs in Hassakeh Governorate and include polio vaccines for 250,000 children plus medical equipment for the Hassakeh Hospital and various types of medicines. The flight also include 15 metric tons of different CRIs complementing the 10,000 kits airlifted earlier this month on board of 14 flights for more than 50,000 displaced beneficiaries in Hassakeh city itself, Qamishly city and its surroundings, Jawadia, and Yaroubia,” Tarik Kurdi, the UNHCR Syria Representative stated.
UNHCR estimates that more than 260,000 persons are in need of assistance in the northeastern Governorate of Hassakeh. The unusually cold temperatures posed a further challenge to displaced persons reflected in increased reports of asthma and flu, forcing the needy to burn plastic, garbage and other waste to keep warm. “Aside using the airlifting as a last resort when no other option is available, humanitarian supplies continue to arrive to Syria almost on daily basis both by sea and road to ensure that we have enough relief stocks and that the delivery and distribution pipeline is smooth and healthy”, Kurdi added.
Since the beginning of the year, UNHCR warehouses in Tartous, Damascus, and Homs, have received more than 230 containers and 155 trucks from Latakia and Amman by sea and road respectively.
“We also continue to distribute humanitarian assistance to other persons in need in West and East Ghota of Reef Damascus, Barzeh in Damascus, evacuees from old Homs, and currently finalizing the necessary permits to deliver relief items to 5,000 displaced persons in Al Raqqa Governorate which has not received humanitarian assistance for long,” Kurdi said.
The Refugee Agency currently has more than 400 staff in Syria working out of 5 offices in Damascus, Aleppo, Qamishly, Homs, and Tartous, and soon a new office in Sweida to cover the agency’s operational activities in the South including Daraa Governorate. Persons of concern to UNHCR in Syria include 6.5 million IDPs and around 45,000 refugees.