The Syrian government has extended its approval for humanitarian aid to be delivered to opposition-held parts of the country’s northwest through a border crossing with Türkiye for another six months.

The United Nations had been using the Bab al-Hawa crossing from Türkiye to deliver aid to millions in northwest Syria since 2014 with authorization from the UN Security Council.

That expired in mid-2023 after the 15-member body failed to reach an agreement to extend it, and the Syrian government then said the UN could continue using the Bab al-Hawa crossing for another six months.

In a diplomatic note seen by Reuters and dated Thursday, Syria’s mission to the United Nations said Damascus would “extend its permission granted to the United Nations (UN) to use Bab al-Hawa crossing to deliver humanitarian assistance to the North-West of Syria for an additional period of six months until 13 July 2024”.

Damascus has also allowed the UN to send aid through two other Turkish crossings after an earthquake killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria last year.

That authorization is set to expire on Feb. 13.

Türkiye has been seeking renewals to both sets of authorizations as interest levels and funding priorities have hampered the aid response.

Millions of people in the opposition-held northwest rely on aid deliveries through Türkiye for access to food, medicine and other basic needs. After nearly 13 years of conflict, many across the country are living in their most dire economic conditions yet, with nine out of 10 Syrians living under the poverty line.