UN admits aid failure for Syria as quake toll tops 33,000

The United Nations lamented the failure to provide vitally needed supplies to Syria’s war-torn regions on Sunday, saying that the more than 33,000 fatalities from the earthquake that also devastated Turkey are certain to increase significantly.

UN relief head Martin Griffiths said that much more was required for the millions of people whose homes had been devastated despite the fact that a convoy of supplies for northwest Syria had arrived via Turkey.

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“We have so far failed the people in northwest Syria. They rightly feel abandoned. Looking for international help that hasn’t arrived,” Griffiths said on Twitter.

Griffiths estimated the devastation in southern Turkey on Saturday, when the death toll remained at 28,000, and said he anticipated the number to “double or more” as the likelihood of finding survivors decreased with each passing day.

Supplies have taken a long time to reach Syria, where the country’s healthcare system has been devastated by years of war and where rebels fighting President Bashar al-government, Assad’s which is subject to Western sanctions, still hold sway in some regions.

However, a 10-truck UN convoy containing shelter kits, plastic sheeting, rope, blankets, mattresses, and carpets entered northwest Syria via the Bab al-Hawa border crossing, according to an AFP correspondent.

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