Turkey key player in humanitarian aid to Syria: UN

Turkey key player in humanitarian aid to Syria: UN

GENEVA-Anadolu Agency
Turkey key player in humanitarian aid to Syria: UN

The humanitarian situation in Syria remains alarming as it enters the 10th year of civil war, said a U.N. spokesman.

"There has been a reduction in fighting (in Syria), but that has not solved the problem for about 2.8 million people that are there who need our support. To help them, Turkey is a key player," Jens Laerke, spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.

Last month, 1,800 truckloads of aid crossed the border from Turkey to Idlib, northwestern Syria, Laerke noted.

He said the country also helps the U.N. deliver aid in Syria.

Laerke said that despite a reduction in fighting, the situation has not improved for most Syrian civilians.

Some 11 million people still need U.N.'s aid, protection and support.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy is worsening and food prices rising, he said.

"The war in Syria is entering its 10th year, which is the same amount of time as WW1 and WW2 combined, that is amazingly long," Laerke said.

This year, the U.N. is asking for $3.8 million to help Syria, in terms of shelter, food, and health services, he added.

Another appeal by the U.N. will aim to help Syria's neighboring countries, and Turkey is among them, according to Laerke.

The total amount of this appeal will be $5-6 billion.

Syria has been ravaged by a civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to U.N. estimates.