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MSF makes urgent call for assistance to people in northwest Syria

February 20, 2023 at 10:17 am

A Syrian man with his belongings rides a bicycle through the collapsed buildings as Syrians continue their lives in harsh conditions in quake hit Jindires district of Aleppo, Syria after 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes hit multiple provinces of Turkiye and Syria on February 17, 2023. [Muhammed Said – Anadolu Agency]

Medecins Sans Frontieres has made an urgent call for assistance to people in northwest Syria, millions of whom have been made homeless by the deadly earthquakes on 6 February.

Many are now sleeping in tents, schools, sports halls, cars or mosques with others still out in the open.

Yesterday, MSF sent 14 trucks filled with tents and winter kits to insulate them from the cold through the Hammam border crossing.

The charity has called for “the immediate scale up” of assistance in particular shelters, water, sanitation equipment and medical supplies which are urgently needed.

The amount of aid passing though into northwest Syria has not reached the level that was entering before the earthquake hit, the medical charity said.

UN aid to northwest Syria was delayed after the earthquake damaged the road leading to the Bab Al-Hawa crossing, which was then the only entry for aid into the northern provinces, the last opposition-held area of the country.

The Syrian government, backed by Russia, have for many years restricted the access of aid to areas not within government control.

Yet most of the 4.5 million people living in the northern provinces already relied on aid to survive.

Over 46,000 people have been confirmed dead; including 4,500 in northwest Syria. More than 9,000 buildings have been partially or completely destroyed.

WATCH: ‘We heard warnings of the flood through the mosque loud speaker,’ says resident of northwest Syrian town