EPA Northern Syria was hit hard by the quakes
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 14:54
The first two planes of an EU airlift have landed in the Syrian capital Damascus. On board are relief supplies such as winterproof tents, equipment for accommodation and heating for the victims of the earthquakes at the beginning of this month. This has been announced by the European Commission.
More flights of this type will follow. Aid is being delivered from EU camps in Dubai and Brindisi in Italy to both government-controlled and resistance-held areas.
The EC states that a total of 420 tons of relief supplies will be delivered. 225 tonnes of this, worth €1.1 million, comes from EU stocks. The EU has so far supported Syria with some €10 million in humanitarian aid.
There are also Member States that separately send aid to Syria. Two days after the quakes, the cabinet announced that it would provide 10 million euros in aid. 7 million euros is spent through United Nations funds, 3 million goes through Dutch aid organizations. That involved food, water, blankets and tents.
Last week, the EU member states decided to temporarily relax sanctions against the country in order to allow more aid. Humanitarian organizations do not have to request permission for six months to provide aid to the affected area in Syria.
Since 2011, EU sanctions have been in place against Syria because of the civil war. For example, there is a ban on the export of goods that the regime in Damascus can use to suppress the opposition.