Since 2008, the underground vault on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago has stored more than 860,000 seed samples from all over world. It was built to protect the earth’s food crops from nuclear war, climate change or disease, reports Reuters.

Now a regional seed bank, the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA,) formerly headquartered in the Syrian city of Aleppo, has requested some of the samples it previously deposited in the vault to replace those that were damaged by the war.