‘Cholera disease likely to hit Syria’

BEIRUT: Humanitarian workers operating in the last opposition-held part of Syria fear a cholera outbreak sweeping the region will deepen further if the United Nations is forced to stop aid deliveries across the border from Turkiye.
The area’s 4 million people live in dire conditions and rely heavily on the food and medicine that has been brought across the border since a 2014 UN Security Council resolution allowed such deliveries despite the Syrian government’s objections.
The Security Council is due to vote on Monday, a day before the current authorization expires, on renewing it for a further six months. Health workers in the zone, which comprises most of the province of Idlib and parts of Aleppo province in northwestern Syria, fear the consequences should Syria’s ally Russia veto it or place further restrictions on the program.
“The capabilities of the health sector are already very weak, and we suffer from an acute shortage of medicines, medical supplies and serums,” said Dr. Zuhair Al-Qurat, the head of Idlib’s health directorate.
“Stopping cross-border aid will have a multiplier effect on the cholera outbreak in the region,” he told media. Though diplomats say Russia has indicated it will allow the authorization’s renewal, uncertainty remains. –Agencies