Airstrikes along Turkish border jeopardize aid to Syrians


December 7, 2015

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  • The increase in airstrikes between Aleppo City and the Syria-Turkey border is making it more difficult-and dangerous-to deliver humanitarian aid.

The ongoing violence in Syria, which has resulted in nearly five years of catastrophic conditions for the country’s citizens, is now severely restricting the ability of humanitarian organizations to deliver lifesaving aid to Syrian citizens.

The increase in airstrikes against towns located between Aleppo City and the Syria-Turkey border threatens critical supply routes for humanitarian aid. Mercy Corps, which has one of the largest food delivery operations in Syria, has been able to continue to provide assistance by working closely with local partners and by strategically storing aid and supplies.

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“Those civilians who choose to escape the spreading violence really have nowhere else to go but Turkey,” says Rae McGrath, Mercy Corps’ country director for Turkey and North Syria. “And with greater pressure on Turkey from Europe to stem the flow of refugees, these innocent people are in danger of being trapped. It’s hard to imagine that the conditions in Syria could have become worse than they already were, but they have.”

Syria’s civil war has left many citizens inside the country completely reliant on humanitarian assistance. Mercy Corps, which has the second largest operation in Syria next to the United Nations, has been reaching up to 500,000 people per month.

“Mercy Corps is well-established in Syria, and we will continue our operations there,” McGrath says. “But many thousands of people are not getting the help they so desperately need and this crisis is worsening by the day.”

As it has in the past, Mercy Corps and our partner aid organizations continue to ask the United Nations to press for an end to bombing of civilian targets. The international community must recognize the need for humanitarian access and safe passage for all affected Syrians.

And, ultimately, Mercy Corps strongly urges all parties involved in this conflict to work toward a lasting peace.

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