Syrian envoy asks for Bulgarian government help following earthquake

In a television interview on February 12, Syrian chargé d’affaires in Sofia, Oras Mahmoud, called on the Bulgarian caretaker government to provide aircraft to deliver aid to Syria in the wake of the February 6 devastating earthquakes that hit that country and Türkiye.

The UN News Service reported on February 10 that a second UN aid convoy had reached Syria that day, but UN agencies were warning that far more lifesaving help was needed.

On February 12, the reported death toll from the earthquakes reached 24 617 in Türkiye, but for Syria had not been updated since February 10, when it was stated to be more than 3500.

Mahmoud told Nova Televizia: “We are collecting aid at the embassy. There are also centers in different cities. We are trying to find a way for this aid to reach the victims”.

She said that aid was only coming by air or sea as land borders are closed.

Syria needed rescue teams, equipment and medicines, she said.

“The situation is very serious. All communities must help each other. We have suffered a lot in recent years and we really need help. We are grateful to the countries and organisations that help us. However, it is not enough,” Mahmoud said.

In a media statement on February 10, Bulgaria’s caretaker government said that it had been notified on February 8 by the European Commission of the activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism at Syria’s request for humanitarian assistance to the victims of the earthquakes.

The caretaker government said that it was actively working to secure humanitarian aid and organise delivery corridors.

Because of difficulties with air delivery to Syria, alternative routes were being discussed, it said.

“In the shortest possible time, the Bulgarian state will have the opportunity to provide humanitarian aid to those in need in Syria at this extremely difficult time,” the statement said.

(Photo: (c) Unicef. To find out how to contribute to Unicef Bulgaria’s fundraising campaign to help the children and families affected by the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, please click here).

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The Sofia Globe staff

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