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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

EU temporarily eased sanctions on Syria after quake – Reuters

Humanitarian organizations will no longer need to seek prior authorization from EU member states to send materials or provide services to organizations under EU sanctions, the European Council said in a statement. This measure, designed for six months, was adopted “due to the seriousness of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, exacerbated by the earthquake”, indicates the text of the document, quoted by AFP.

The EU points out that the bloc’s member states are the main donors to Syria, with total donations to the country and to neighbors hosting refugees such as Turkey since 2011 amounting to 27.4 billion euros. After the earthquake, the EU provided €3.5 million to meet urgent humanitarian needs in Syria.

The Syrian government and related companies are under EU sanctions, making it difficult to get humanitarian aid into the country. The sanctions imposed in 2011 target 291 individuals and 70 entities and include an asset freeze and a travel ban.

Recall that on February 6, in the Turkish province of Kahramanmarash in the south-east of the country, earthquakes of magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 occurred. On Thursday, the death toll in Turkey exceeded 43.5 thousand people, in Syria the death of more than 5.8 thousand people was confirmed. On the evening of February 20, two more earthquakes of magnitude 6.4 and 5.8 occurred in Turkey and Syria. About six dead, more than eight hundred injured are reported in two countries.

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