In the aftermath of one of the strongest earthquakes in the history of the region, a large number of people have lost their homes and livelihoods, who are therefore in need of emergency assistance.
As part of an EU humanitarian air bridge for Syria, two planes with emergency aid landed in Damascus, to provide further support for the Syrian people impacted by the earthquake. The planes delivered much-needed relief items such as winterised tents, shelter equipment and heaters. These are the first such flights landing in Damascus, but they are part of a series of flights transporting assistance from the EU’s own humanitarian stockpiles in Brindisi and Dubai to the Syrian people in both government controlled and non-government controlled areas, via the mobilisation of the European Humanitarian Response Capacity. Overall, the EU humanitarian air bridge for Syria will deliver 420 tonnes of assistance, including 225 tonnes from the EU’s own humanitarian stockpiles worth €1.1 million.
In addition, 15 European countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia and Slovenia) have offered in-kind assistance to Syria in response to the activation of EU Civil Protection Mechanism on 8 February. The donations include tents, beds, blankets, heaters, hygiene parcels, generators, food, medical supplies, and more. The aid is being delivered to the people most in need – both in government-controlled and non-government controlled areas in Northwest Syria.
An EU civil protection team is in Beirut coordinating the delivery of the assistance to Syria, and EU humanitarian experts are also present in Syria working with partners to ensure the aid reaches the most vulnerable.
So far, the EU has responded to the earthquake with €10 million of humanitarian assistance, including €3.9 million in new funds and more than €6 million repurposed through ongoing humanitarian projects.