Second UNHCR aid convoy reaches northern Syria

UNHCR today completed its second aid delivery into north-west Syria, where thousands of internally displaced people are in acute need of humanitarian help. The operation was carried out in collaboration with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the local community. The latest convoy, involving seven trucks carrying 1000 tents and 15,000 blankets, travelled from Latakia and Damascus to the Bab al-Hawa area near the Syrian-Turkish border where the aid was delivered. “These are complex operations and not without risk, but the humanitarian needs of the displaced civilians in these areas require action,” said High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. “The moral imperative to help is clear.” UNHCR’s previous aid convoy to northern Syria at the end of January was the first of its kind, and involved transporting two thousand tents and 15,000 blankets from Latakia on the Syrian coast to A’zaz, also close to the Syrian-Turkish border. In neighbouring countries the refugee numbers continue to grow, with 814,677 Syrians now either registered as refugees or awaiting registration. This figure comprises 273,908 in Lebanon; 252,706 in Jordan; 177,387 in Turkey; 88,143 in Iraq; 16,195 in Egypt; and 6,338 in North Africa. Since the start of 2013 the number of refugees registered with UNHCR or pending registration has been rising at an average rate of more than 5000 people per day.