UN, Syrian govt implicated in post-earthquake aid failures: UN-inquiry commission

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The United Nations, as well as the Syrian government and other actors, are responsible for delays in getting emergency aid to Syrians after the earthquake, a UN-appointed commission of inquiry said on Monday.

The allegations add to a growing chorus of criticism of the global body for its role in the immediate aftermath of last month’s earthquake that killed some 6,000 people, mostly in the opposition-held northwest near the Turkish border.

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“Though there were many acts of heroism amid the suffering, we also witnessed a wholesale failure by the government and the international community, including the United Nations, to rapidly direct life-saving support to Syrians in the most dire
need,” said Paulo Pinheiro, chair of the commission, in a statement.

The statement further said that the above actors failed to agree a pause in hostilities and to allow life-saving aid through any available route, leaving Syrians feeling “abandoned and neglected by those supposed to protect them, in the most desperate of times.”

Syria’s information ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A UN humanitarian office (OCHA) spokesperson said 720 trucks loaded with aid has so far arrived in northwest Syria using three border crossings. He confirmed that no heavy equipment was sent in, saying this was the type of aid that only national authorities can provide.

Read more:

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Turkey earthquake survivors reconsider election loyalty to President Erdogan

Children in quake-hit Syria face ‘catastrophic threats’

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