Syria: Humanitarian Aid

Department for International Development written question – answered on 13th November 2017.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Immigration)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of humanitarian airdrops in Eastern Ghouta in the event that the Assad regime continues to block UN land access for aid provision.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Aid delivered by road by trusted humanitarian partners is by far the most effective way to meet needs in Eastern Ghouta and to ensure that it reaches those most in need. Airdrops are high risk and not capable of delivering many of the types of aid on a scale that could meet key needs there (e.g. safe drinking water, shelter, health support). Crucially, the consent is needed of those who control the airspace and those on the ground that could threaten aircraft. There is nothing to suggest that the Assad regime would provide such consent if it remained intent on blocking land access.

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