The European Union has announced the launch of a humanitarian initiative for the civil war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo, calling on every side of the conflict to allow humanitarian aid to be delivered as well as the evacuation of civilians.
EU foreign policy chief and high representative Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said in a statement that the block was taking an “urgent initiative” for Aleppo.
“The EU is also mobilizing a 25 million-euro [$28 million] emergency aid package to support and scale up the first line response of its humanitarian partners to cover urgent medical, water and sanitation and food assistance in Aleppo and in other priority areas across the country,” according to the statement.
The United Nations will also cooperate in the launch of the initiative, which consists of two main elements.
“First, it aims at facilitating the urgent delivery of basic life-saving assistance to civilians in East Aleppo covering medical, water and food needs.
“Second, in parallel and simultaneously, it aims at ensuring the medical evacuations of wounded and sick from Eastern Aleppo in urgent need of medical care,” the statement added.
“The EU calls on all parties to urgently provide the necessary authorizations for aid delivery and for medical evacuations to proceed,” it added.
Since Sept. 19, when the Bashar al-Assad regime announced the end of a weeklong truce sponsored by Washington and Moscow, Syrian and Russian warplanes have pounded opposition-held parts of Aleppo.
Scores of civilians have reportedly been killed or injured in the attacks, which remain ongoing.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which erupted as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity.