In response to the immense health needs of the Syrian people caused by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Türkiye and the Syrian Arab Republic on 6 February, 2023, WHO Field Presence in Gaziantep trans-shipped yesterday another 34.5 metric tons of surgical supplies and essential medicines for the value of US$ 353 188 into northwest Syria through the Bab Al-Hawa and Bab Al-Salama border crossings, to further support health facilities meet the medical and emergency needs of affected people in the area.
A third charter flight landed in Damascus airport on Monday, 20 February, carrying 33 metric tons of medical supplies and equipment for the treatment of injuries, medicine for chronic diseases, and cholera treatments, in addition to patient monitors. WHO expects another charter flight on 25 February 2023 carrying medical supplies from its Dubai Hub to be delivered cross-border from Türkiye to support the emergency needs of northwest Syria.
The first WHO charter flight into Syria reached Aleppo on 11 February, consisting of emergency supplies for 60 000 surgical interventions and 50 000 medical treatments – particularly for pneumonia, as hundreds of thousands of Syrians were either rendered homeless due to collapsed or evacuated buildings, or were terrified of returning home and being buried under the rubble with strong aftershocks continuing to pose serious risk of building collapse. The second WHO flight containing another 30 metric tons of medical supplies and equipment arrived in Damascus on 14 February.
Beginning on 11 February, WHO Field Presence in Gaziantep, operating under UN Security Council Resolution # 2672 (2023), has undertaken 5 cross-border deliveries from Türkiye to northwest Syria — amounting to 139 metric tons of medical supplies — while in the first hours after the earthquake it had distributed 183 metric tons of WHO supplies prepositioned inside northwest Syria from partner’s warehouses in Azaz and Idlib to more than 200 health facilities.
Utilizing an all-modalities approach, including recently opened border crossing points, WHO has delivered 297 metric tons of emergency supplies and essential medicines to earthquake-affected areas of Syria, allowing 3 705 000 treatments, but much more is still needed.