End of aid to millions of Syrians? EU warns of disaster | free press


Millions of Syrians depend on UN food. For political reasons, the last open border crossing on the border with Turkey is now under threat – the EU urgently warns against this.

Istanbul (AP) – Shortly before a possible halt to UN aid for millions of Syrians, the EU’s Crisis Management Commissioner warned of a catastrophe for the people of the country’s civil war.

The background to this is a dispute in the UN Security Council about keeping a border crossing open for relief supplies and the influence of the Syrian leadership on its spread. “Failing to renew this lifeline through Bab al-Hawa would have enormously dramatic consequences for millions of people,” Janez Lenarcic said Thursday in the Turkish city of Reyhanli, close to the Syrian border. “This transition must be preserved.”

Bab al-Hawa is a border crossing in northwestern Syria, through which large quantities of aid supplies arrive daily from Turkey into the country of the civil war. The UN mission was launched in 2014 and will expire on July 10.

An extension in the Security Council threatens to fail due to the Russian veto. At the instigation of the Russian leadership, three other border crossings have already been closed. Moscow states that the supplies can also reach the rebel areas via the Syrian capital Damascus. Many experts reject this proposal. Control over a significant portion of the aid would significantly strengthen President Bashar al-Assad’s position vis-à-vis political opponents.

According to UN estimates, about four million Syrians live in northwestern Syria. Most are displaced persons living in camps, semi-finished houses and similar poor shelters. Almost all of them depend on humanitarian aid, not least the United Nations. 1.3 million people alone receive food from the World Food Program (WFP).

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