Middle East

Northwest Syria a “catastrophe on top of catastrophe,” WFP warns, as earthquake aid stocks exhaust “quickly”

Becky Anderson

The World Food Programme (WFP) is calling for more access to Syrian territories impacted by the deadly earthquake to replenish aid supplies that have been exhausted, with the organization’s executive director calling the situation in the northwest of the country “catastrophe on top of catastrophe.”

“What stocks we have are being exhausted quickly, especially the ready to eat rations, and they need to be replenished quickly. To do this, we need access,” David Beasley said.

Here’s some background: In the past aid was brought into northwest Syria through Turkey from Bab al-Hawa crossing – the only point of entry authorized by the UN Security Council. A resolution proposing more border openings between Turkey and Syria was vetoed by Russia and China.

The other path in was through “crosslines,” aid coming in from Syrian government territory into the rebel-held northwest.

“The one crossing authorized by the Security Council has been re-opened, but damage to roads and slowed customs clearances are significantly hampering movement,” Beasley said.

“We need to resume and increase cross-line operations from inside Syria. This is not the time for anyone to politicize aid.”

The WFP is aiming to provide ready-to-eat meals for 100,000 people in northwest Syria and have regular rations for 1.4 million people with partners ready for distribution.

But the organization still needs $700 million to feed almost 6 million people in Syria.

Northwest Syria is a catastrophe on top of catastrophe,” Beasley said.
“Now, in the middle of winter, many are displaced again, sleeping in tents and whatever shelter they can find with very limited services.”

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