U.N. airlifts humanitarian aid to Syria from Iraq despite bitter winter storms
The United Nations on Sunday sent its first delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria from Iraq, amid announcements that it plans to supply more food and winter supplies to the Kurdish northeast in the coming 12 days.
The food supplies provided by the U.N. should feed more than 6,000 Syrian families for the rest of December, the U.N.'s World Food Programme said, according to Reuters.
The U.N.'s aid airlifts suffered from delays last week due to the winter storms that have swept across Syria, Lebanon and the rest of the Levant.
"This wave of extreme cold led to deteriorating conditions for people in the city of Qamishli and other places in Syria," Iyad Nuaman, WFP regional coordinator, told Reuters by telephone from Arbil.
"Regions of eastern Syria are suffering more than others because they are far from the capital and there were problems with the delivery of food supplies," Nuaman said, according to Reuters.
Both the Iraqi and Syrian governments gave the U.N. permission to enact the aid flights, which also will include supplies of non-food items such as blankets, clothes and medicine in the coming days.
The 12-day airlift, which is involving 12 different U.N. agencies, will see the transportation 400 tons of food and 196 kg of medical kits into the wartorn country.