London – Human Aid & Advocacy’s trustee Dr Zeeshan Siddiqui this morning crossed the Bab al-Hawa border between Turkey and Syria and is currently at the Human Aid Advocacy’s medical centre in Kalbit in Idlib, which has assisted around 20 000 people so far, including those affected by the earthquake.
Bab al-Hawa is the only border crossing into north-west Syria that has been approved for use for aid convoys by the UN. The north-west is held by Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the border crossing is considered a “front line”.
Human Aid & Advocacy can confirm that UN aid has been almost non-existent to the people of this area, with a maximum of 20 trucks arriving in the last year and none yet in the wake of the earthquake.
The UN has stated that it is having difficulty due to the roads being inaccessible and more recently claimed it was having “issues with approval” with HTS.
However, local spokespeople at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing have insisted that the roads are accessible, and UN aid is being stored in Reyhanli, just one kilometre from the border.
Human Aid & Advocacy’s Dr Zeeshan Siddiqui said:
“While the UN said that aid flows had been halted by the destruction and that HTS was not allowing aid from Damascus, our contacts on the ground confirm that this is not the case.”
“HTS is not denying aid from Damascus as has been reported by some media outlets using anonymous sources. Rather, aid is being held in Damascus.”
“We continue to call for assistance to the people of Idlib, including financial assistance to procure heavy machinery, humanitarian assistance and medical care as a cholera outbreak looms.”
“Syrians have shown remarkable courage in a devastating situation, and we are grateful we are able to assist them.”
Notes for editors:
1. Human Aid & Advocacy is an international NGO supporting survivors of war and persecution through access to sustainable aid programmes while addressing the real causes of conflict.
2. Inquiries to [email protected]