Press "Enter" to skip to content

WHO using post-quake pause in Syria sanctions to deliver critical aid

The World Health Organization has been using the post-earthquake pause in sanctions to move badly needed health supplies and equipment into war-torn Syria.

The WHO on Wednesday said it was capitalising on the chance brought about by the suspending of sanctions to do some rapid procurement to revitalise Syria’s shattered health services.

The United States has since temporarily lifted some sanctions, hoping to ensure that aid moves as quickly as possible to those affected.

“WHO is moving very rapidly right now, together with our partners, to take advantage of this pause in the sanctions,” Rick Brennan, the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean regional emergency director, told a press conference.

“We have already started ordering equipment and supplies and we are working with UN partners on a collective approach to take advantage of the pause,” he said from Gaziantep in southern Türkiye, having returned from northern Syria.

READ MORE: How does aid get into opposition-held northwest Syria?

Damaged health facilities

Medicines and vaccines were needed, but so was vital equipment such as X-ray machines and surgical tools, he added.

“We will be moving very rapidly to do the procurement, capitalising on this important opportunity that we have.”

Four planes filled with supplies have flown into Syria since the earthquake.

Damascus has been hit by more than a decade of economic sanctions, and while they were not designed to impede aid, they were blamed by some for the slow arrival of assistance after the quake. 

Seven hospitals and 145 health facilities in Syria have been damaged, many in the northwest, said the agency.

The UN health agency called on Syria’s warring factions to see the earthquake as an opportunity to end the civil war for good.

The massive 7.7 and 7.6-magnitude tremors on February 6 have killed more than 42,000 people in Türkiye and more than 5,800 in Syria, while the WHO said more than 125,000 have been injured.

READ MORE: Syrian refugees in Türkiye make their final journey home in body bags

More from TürkiyeMore posts in Türkiye »

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *