UN Inquiry Commission: Quake Aid Was Slow to Reach Syria


The international community and the Syrian government did not act quickly enough last month to help people in need in the rebel-held northwest after a deadly earthquake hit Turkey and conflict-ravaged Syria, a UN-backed commission said Monday. 

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said there should be an investigation into why it took a week to open border crossings for aid to flow. Commission member Paulo Pinheiro said during a news conference in Geneva that “we also witnessed a complete failure by the government and the international community including the United Nations to rapidly direct urgent lifesaving aid for northwest Syria.” “Many voices are rightly calling ... for an investigation and accountability to understand how this failure, this disaster happened beyond the earthquake,” Pinheiro said.

The commission called on nations who have nationals held in the camps of al-Hol and Roj in northeast Syria to speed up the repatriation process. “The suffering inflicted on them may amount to the war crime of committing outrages on personal dignity. We call again for repatriations to speed up,” the commission’s report said.

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