Charity head urges action on Aleppo

Manchester charity is sending aid to Syrian city, reports Ewan Waters

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The British government should work with other governments to put an end to the crisis in Aleppo which has left over 300 people dead, said Othman Moqbel, chief executive of Manchester-based humanitarian aid charity Human Appeal.

Over the last 12 days, fierce clashes between rebel groups and government forces have left a further 2,000 people injured and tens of thousands homeless, with many forced to seek refuge in caves and beneath trees.

The border with Turkey has been closed, and charities cannot provide shelter in organised camps for such large numbers.

“Enough is enough. Every Syrian is looking to live in peace, but where is this peace? We have to put pressure on the Russians to stop these atrocities against the civilians in Syria,” said Moqbel.

“The need is huge. People need tents, shelter, food, medicine, water – everything. People are in need of every kind of support.”

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Russia is working with the UN and US to incorporate Aleppo into the “regime of calm” that has included Damascus and Latakia since Saturday.

It is hoped that if local truces can be extended, the current conflict in Aleppo can once more be halted and peace talks in Geneva reignited.

Lavrov did however state that in order for this to happen, rebels would have to leave areas where allied jihadist militants were being targeted.

The situation and the indiscriminate nature of the violence has continued to worsen, with the sixth airstrike attack in two weeks on medical institutions in the city killing at least three people at a maternity hospital.

“Everything is a target, from the animals to the human beings to the hospitals to the schools,” said Moqbel.

Last Thursday one of the last remaining paediatricians in Aleppo, Dr Muhammed Waseem Moaz, was killed in an airstrike.

A dentist, three nurses and 22 civilians were also killed in the airstrike on the Al-Quds hospital in the Sukari neighbourhood of the city.

Over the past few days Human Appeal has provided approximately half a million pounds worth of food and medical aid, and remains confident it will deliver 9,000 bread packages and 4,000 ready-to-eat parcels by 7 May – but funding is running short.

Moqbel said: “The problem is our organisation depends on UK donors – the public – and the last five years have been very difficult for us by way of activities to generate more money.

“We’re trying our best but things are decreasing – the finance is decreasing while the crisis is increasing.”

“As a humanitarian agency we will continue our support, we will continue our work and we hope that the general public will continue supporting our work in order to reach those who are in need.”

Photo: wounded civilians arrive at an Aleppo hospital

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  • Charity head urges action on Aleppo: Manchester charity is sending aid to Syrian city – Ewan Waters' Portfolio
    24 Jun 2018 19:09
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