Syria turns down humanitarian aid

Humanitarian aid for Syrians will have to wait at the border after authorities blocked 200 activists from entering the strife-torn country.

The activists, who are mostly Syrians living in other countries and form part of the so-called “Freedom Convoy,” said they will demonstrate and form camp at the Turkish side of the border. This comes after Syrian authorities at the border gate of Oncupinar refused them entry — along with truckloads of food, medical aid and other supplies meant for families in Syria affected by the unrest. The United Nations estimates more than 5,000 people have died since the uprising in Syria in March.

“The Syrian government said ‘no’ to medical supplies, ‘no’ to doctors who are going to go in and treat the wounded, and they said ‘no’ to food and miscellaneous [items] that we were going to take to Syria to help the towns that’s under siege,” Freedom Convoy spokesperson Bilal Dalati said.

Zeyna Adi, one of the organizers, said a second “Freedom Convoy” hoping to enter Syria via Jordan was also blocked by authorities.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.