The U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Mark Lowcock said Thursday that Turkey had supported humanitarian efforts in Syria, recently restoring various damaged facilities to provide water for al-Hasakah province, which was previously controlled by the Bashar Assad regime and PKK-affiliated People’s Protection Units (YPG). “The WHO [World Health Organization] has reported that five medical facilities were affected by the fighting. The Allouk water station, which provides water services to 460,000 people in Al Hassakeh, has been repeatedly put out of service due to hostilities. The Government of Turkey has responded to requests to support humanitarian operations. A number of cross-line missions were facilitated by Turkey for technicians to come from al-Hassakeh to Allouk to perform repairs on the water station and the power supply,” Lowcock said at a U.N. Security Council meeting. “Turkey has also sent its own technicians. While the water has again been restored, it is important to have sustained access to ensure the ongoing operations of these critical facilities,” he added. Stressing that more than 11 million remain in need of humanitarian assistance across the country, which corresponds to more than half the estimated population of Syria, Lowcock stressed the weight of the responsibility of refugee hosting countries. “When I visited Turkey last month, I had the opportunity to express again my deep admiration and gratitude to Turkey’s government and people for their exceptional and prolonged hospitality to the refugees,” he said. “I went to Turkey and visited our cross-border operations. I was able to see the delivery of assistance, to assess the work of the United Nations Monitoring Mission, and to talk to people we are helping inside Syria,” Lowcock added.
The civil war in Syria erupted in 2011 when the Assad regime ferociously responded to protesters who had poured onto the streets to demand more rights and freedom. The cruelty against the protesters triggered a rebellion in significant parts of the country, turning into a brutal civil war. While more than 400,000 people have been killed, around 6 million people have been displaced internally and another 5.5 million were driven abroad as refugees since the beginning of the civil war, according to U.N. figures.
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