The civil war in Syria has been raging for almost five and a half years now. Welthungerhilfe and its partner People in Need have been providing humanitarian aid since 2012. Petr Štefan, Communication Officer at PIN, gives us an update on the current situation.
What is the current situation in Aleppo?
Castello Road, the last supply line to eastern Aleppo, was cut by pro-regime forces in July. As a result, 300,000 people were placed under siege. Of course, we are still delivering aid to approximately 1,000,000 people in Syria every year. This is, however, not the situation in Aleppo city. Whilst the siege was broken temporarily and a new road into east Aleppo was opened, this new road was under constant attack and it was not safe to deliver aid via this road. Now, after weeks of intense fighting regime forces have re-gained the area around the new road and this road has also been cut. As such, the siege is in place once again. Prior to the beginning of the siege in July, PIN had anticipated such restrictions on access and pre-stocked supplies in the city– these supplies are running out very fast.
What kind of humanitarian aid is PIN providing at the moment?
Inside Aleppo city, PIN has been supporting access to food and education; has provided opportunities for work through cash-for-work programming; and strengthened the capacities of civil society organizations operating in the city through our capacity building programme. However, since April when the security situation rapidly began to deteriorate, PIN has been forced to suspend a number of activities in certain locations in and around the city as the situation has become too dangerous for our staff, our partners and beneficiaries. In recent months, we have focussed on providing food and have continued to supply flour to bakeries and food kits to 3,000 families, despite the challenges. The last bread distribution in eastern Aleppo city took place on 19th of August. Supplies of food kits and flour destined for eastern Aleppo are currently stocked in a countryside warehouse; and we are unable to deliver this to our beneficiaries as access remains blocked.
We will continue the distributions as soon as we are able to bring further stocks into the city. We are ready to transport the items as soon as the siege is lifted and the security situation allows.