Syrians affected by deadly earthquake need more of ‘absolutely everything:’ UN envoy

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Syrians impacted by the deadly earthquake that struck their country and Turkey on Monday need “more of absolutely everything” in terms of aid, the United Nations’ special envoy Geir Pedersen said on Thursday.

The UN had been assured the first assistance would cross from Turkey into Syria on Thursday, he told a briefing in Geneva, calling for assurances that there would be no political hindrances to getting aid to where it was most needed.

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The convoy entered Syria at the Bab al-Hawa crossing, the sources said. Turkish authorities said they would open other crossing points in two days if security was sound.

The UN has described Bab al-Hawa as a “lifeline” for accessing the opposition-controlled area of Syria, where it says some 4 million people - many displaced by the country’s 12-year conflict there - were already relying on humanitarian assistance before the quake struck.

The deadly quake struck on Monday night and was followed by powerful aftershocks. The death toll from it neared 16,000 on Thursday as frustration simmered over the slow delivery of aid.

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