Severe winter weather delayed the start of the first United Nations airlift of aid items from Iraq's Kurdistan region to Syria.
U.N refugee agency (UNHCR) regional spokesman " Peter Kessler " told AFP " it appears... the weather in Qamishli has delayed the start of the airlift, as well as prevailing conditions across the region", referring to the city in northeast Syria to which aid supplies are to be flown ,adding " when it will start is difficult to say -- I think the authorities in Qamishli are going to check conditions at the airfield on Friday; they announced yesterday a 48-hour delay " .
UNHCR plans to fly some 40 metric tones of aid into the area, which has become increasingly dangerous to reach, providing "core relief items for 10,000 families, or about 50-60,000 people," Kessler said this week.
The UN's World Food Programme and children's agency UNICEF were also to send aid into Syria via air. UNHCR also plans to spend $195 million to help "winterise" Syria and the surrounding countries.
As part of its programme, the agency has already begun distributing things like isolation tents, plastic sheeting, warm clothing, especially for children and other vulnerable people, and cash for fuel.