Eight days after the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, humanitarian aid to the Syrian populations remains insufficient, deplore officials of the Mehad organization, worried about the opening of crossing points under the control of Damascus and not of the United Nations.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday decided to open the two crossing points of Bab Al-Salam and Al Ra’ee between Turkey and northwestern Syria for an initial period of three months.
“It is imperative that the opening of the humanitarian corridors be a decision of the United Nations, and that these crossing points be carried out solely under the control of the international community, the only guarantee that humanitarian aid can reach the populations of the northwest. Syrian”, reacted Tuesday to AFP Professor Raphaël Pitti, humanitarian doctor within the organization Mehad.
He also deplored “the slowness of a decision (…) which should have been made the day after” the earthquake which killed more than 35,000 people in the two countries, according to a latest report.
He stresses that the opening of these axes “still remains very insufficient and unsuitable in the face of the cataclysm represented by this earthquake” and calls for “a coordinated international response”.
In a column signed jointly with Doctor Ziad Alissa, president of Mehad and published on the website of the daily Liberation, he also calls for “an immediate ceasefire and the deployment of a mobile hospital on the Syrian-Turkish border to help support for victims in northwestern Syria”.
The entry of medical teams is crucial to support their colleagues “in hospitals and health centers that are exhausted”, notes Dr Alissa.
“It lacks everything,” added Professor Pitti. In the rebel region of Idleb, the population badly needs tents, blankets, heating, hygiene kits, etc.
“Caregivers, in particular, tell us of the urgency (to have) medical equipment, to renovate operating theaters, delivery rooms, to directly support medical staff,” explains the professor. “They treat the wounded without really having the material and financial means”.
A Saudi plane loaded with aid landed Tuesday morning in Aleppo (north), for the first time in more than ten years, according to the Syrian Ministry of Transport.
France announced last week emergency aid to the Syrian population to the tune of 12 million euros which must pass through NGOs.