Qamishli, Syria, March 25, 2014– For the first time since the Syria conflict began three years ago, a joint United Nations humanitarian land convoy has successfully delivered lifesaving supplies for children and their families in the north of the country.
The convoy, including 16 UNICEF trucks, travelled through the Nusaybin border post, carrying food supplies, hygiene kits and medicine to Qamishli governorate in north east Syria.
As part of the operation, UNICEF delivered 12,000 hygiene kits, 1,000 family water kits and 25,000 blankets. The supplies will be distributed to 50,000 people including 25,000 children living in a part of the country that has been largely cut off from humanitarian assistance.
“The people here, many of whom have been internally displaced for two years now, are really suffering”, said Mohamad Kanawati, who was part of the UNICEF team receiving the supplies on the Syria side.
“Their financial resources have run out and they haven’t had any humanitarian assistance in a very long time. They need everything.”
The hygiene kits include essential items for keeping young children – who are living in often desperate conditions – clean and healthy. Soap, diapers, baby rash cream, tooth brushes, tooth paste, and shampoo are included, as well as sanitary napkins, towels, laundry and cleaning detergents. UNICEF water kits include water purification tablets, buckets, jerry cans and soap.
The huge operation – which comprised 78 trucks in all and took four days to transit the border — was the result of long negotiations by high level United Nations officials with authorities on the Turkish and Syrian sides.
The relief supplies will be delivered over a ten-day period by the Syrian Arab Red Cross and local partners at distribution points and shelters across the governorate.