UN body starts delivering relief items in Syria

Damascus : The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has started an airlift operation to deliver emergency core relief items for 50,000 people in northeastern Syria, the organisation said in a statement Thursday.

The first round of airlifts from Damascus to the province of predominantly Kurdish city of Qamishli started Wednesday, as part of an operation that will involve 11 continuous rotations, Xinhua reported citing the statement.

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Wednesday’s shipment carried 22 tonnes of non-food relief supplies provided by the World Food Programme.

Khaled al-Khaled, director of the displaced project at the UNHCR in the province, said the shipment consists of kitchen utensils, cleaning materials, blankets, summer clothes, floor mats, insulators, and water containers.

Since the beginning of 2014, the UNHCR has delivered core relief items to more than 2.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in need in 13 out of Syria’s 14 governorates.

“We continue to expand our presence on the ground to get closer to our persons of concern, while striving to secure donor funds to ensure the smooth and continuous flow of humanitarian assistance,” said the statement.

The refugee agency currently has nearly 425 staff in Syria working in seven offices across the country to deal with about 6.5 million IDPs and 34,000 refugees.