Germany ups medical aid to war-torn Aleppo | Middle East| News and analysis of events in the Arab world | DW | 27.12.2016
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Middle East

Germany ups medical aid to war-torn Aleppo

Germany has provided aid to support the continued work of nearly 1,000 medical professionals in Aleppo. Medical facilities in the Syrian city are on life support.

Germany will provide aid to war-battered Aleppo to support around 1,000 medical personnel, Development Minister Gerd Müller told the mass-market daily "Bild."

"After the international community helplessly look on at murder and bombing, there must now be a large humanitarian operation for the people of Aleppo," Müller said. "If we act too late, there will be a new humanitarian catastrophe in the Syrian conflict."

The 15 million euros ($14 million) will ensure around 1,000 doctors, nurses and trauma psychologists will be able to continue their work for another 30 months. In addition, the program will support the training of around 200 experts to help civilians cope with trauma.

Years of conflict in Aleppo and the recent recapture by Syrian government forces of the rebel-held eastern part of the city has left medical facilities in tatters. Russian and Syrian air force strikes have regularly targeted hospitals and clinics, killing dozens of doctors and nurses. Many medical professionals have fled the country, weakening the country's ability to respond to a growing humanitarian crisis.

The 15 million euro sum comes from Germany's "Cash for Work" program in Syria and neighboring countries housing some 4.8 million refugees. An additional 6.5 million people are internally displaced out of a pre-war population of some 23 million people.

According to the UN, 13.5 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid, 90 percent of whom require medical assistance.

Germany has provided nearly 1.5 billion euros in humanitarian aid to Syrians since the conflict began in 2012, according to figures released by the Development Ministry. By 2018 that number will increase to 2.3 billion euros, making Germany the third largest foreign aid donor helping those impacted by the conflict.

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