Syria - Q&A - Excerpts from the daily press briefing (23.07.18)

Q - Has the aid sent to Eastern Ghouta been distributed yet?

A - Following the May 24th coordination meeting in Saint Petersburg between the French and Russian Presidents, France and Russia carried out a joint humanitarian project in Syria to meet the needs of the civilian population which remains very sizeable in Eastern Ghouta (Douma).

More than 50 tons of French humanitarian aid were shipped to Syria aboard a Russian aircraft during the night of July 20. The humanitarian cargo provided by France consists of medical equipment and basic necessities. On Saturday it was turned over to the UN, which will supervise its distribution. The aid will be transported to Eastern Ghouta and distributed there in accordance with international humanitarian law, as swiftly as possible.

Under UN Security Council Resolution 2401 (2018), the goal of this project is to give civilian populations better access to aid. Humanitarian assistance is an absolute priority; it must be provided according to the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence – throughout Syria, without exception, where international humanitarian law must be fully respected.

Q - Apart from supporting and protecting White Helmets and their families, is France prepared to welcome these people, as Great Britain, Canada, and Germany have already said they would?

A - France is an active member of the operation that allowed the White Helmets and their families to leave Syria, where their security was seriously compromised.

This operation provides for their resettlement in third countries. France will do its part to welcome White Helmets and their families.

It will continue to work on behalf of these courageous individuals who risked their lives day after day to help the Syrian people.