Editor's note: This story was updated on Sept. 12, 2016 with the latest information.
Mercy Corps is prepared to deliver aid into the war-battered city of Aleppo as a nationwide cease-fire gets underway.
Our team has had stocks pre-positioned to deliver aid into Aleppo for the past few weeks, but it has been too dangerous to make the deliveries and the bombing too relentless. If this cessation of hostilities provides even the smallest window for safe passage of supplies, we are well positioned and hope to be able to use it.
"We are ready to get assistance into Aleppo right away", says Dominic Graham, Syria response director for Mercy Corps. "We have food rations packed and ready to go, but we must be certain the cease-fire is holding with all parties before sending people and trucks into harm's way."
Some 1.5 to 2 million people remain in what was once Syria’s largest city. Mercy Corps, which has the largest operation inside Syria next to the United Nations, continues to distribute food and other life-saving aid within Aleppo city. Many of those who remain tell us humanitarian aid is their only source of food.
We urgently need a sustained cease-fire by all sides in the conflict to bring sufficient stocks into the city.
"I thought about leaving [east Aleppo],” said one of our team members. (We are withholding the names of team members working inside Syria for their safety.) “But the people are waiting. They are, impatiently, looking forward to receiving aid. Fleeing won`t make my son proud of his father."
Another team member noted how the war is impacting children, many of whom have lived their entire lives in a war.
"The kids are just tracking warplanes like the men,” another team member said. “Playing war games. They are not normal kids anymore."
Since the start of the crisis in 2011, our Syria response has reached more than 7.7 million people throughout the region and Europe. We are the largest non-governmental organization operating inside Syria, reaching up to 677,000 people every month with lifesaving assistance.
In 2015 alone, we reached more than 2.6 million people inside Syria with lifesaving assistance and resources to build better lives for their families. Today, we are meeting the urgent needs of families inside Syria by providing food, clean water and other essential household supplies. And we are helping children cope with trauma through programs like art therapy that nurture their healthy development.
We’ve worked in the region for 20 years and are committed to helping Syrians and the countries hosting them for as long as it takes.
Please support our work in Syria and others in crisis around the world by giving today.