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Iran Press TV

UNHCR completes first aid airlift to Syria via Iraq

Iran Press TV

Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:13PM GMT

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says it has, for the first time, managed to fly humanitarian aid to a difficult-to-access region in Syria from neighboring Iraq.

"The last UNHCR cargo flight landed today at Qamishli airport (in northeastern Syria), carrying assistance urgently needed by displaced persons," said the UNHCR in a statement on Sunday.

This "was the first time the UN has used Iraq as a hub to deliver relief items into Syria. Road convoys to eastern Syria have been perilous since May as the ongoing conflict hampered the UN's delivery efforts," added the statement.

The UN body further stated that during the airlift, which started on December 15, almost 300 tons of humanitarian aid was dispatched to help more than 50,000 people who are dealing with a harsh winter.

According to UNHCR, the World Food Program (WFP) also provided enough food supplies to feed about 30,000 people for a month, while the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) sent "health kits, water and sanitation equipment."

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. The UN says over 100, 000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced due to the violence.

In late November, the UNHRC said the number of Syrian refugees, who have fled to neighboring countries, has passed three million. Some 6.5 million people have also been displaced inside the country since the outbreak of the turmoil.

MKA/HGH



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