World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Syria: UN Ready to Aid Besieged Homs Once Green Light Given

Syria: UN Ready to Rush Food, Medicines into Besieged Homs Once Green Light Is Given

New York, Jan 28 2014 - United Nations trucks in Syria are on standby to deliver urgently needed food and medicines to 500 besieged families who have been trapped in the Old City of Homs without any aid for almost two years, once the warring parties allow access, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced today.

Nearly 1.6 million civilians in other parts of Syria have been without regular WFP supplies for months.

Access for humanitarian aid to trapped civilians is one of the major issues being discussed at ongoing talks between the Syrian Government and the main opposition group in Geneva which seek to end nearly three years of civil war in which well over 100,000 people have been killed and nearly 9 million others driven from their homes since the conflict erupted between the Government and various groups seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.

Speaking to reporters after the latest round of talks, UN-Arab League Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, who is mediating the discussions, told reporters there has been no movement today on getting aid to Homs. “We have not had any breakthrough, but we are still at it and this is good enough as far as I am concerned,” he said before announcing that he has cancelled the afternoon meeting between the two sides.

Once all parties on the ground allow a UN interagency convoy to proceed, WFP will deliver 500 family rations and 500 bags of wheat flour to those under siege in the Old City, enough for 2,500 people for one month, WFP spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs told a news briefing in Geneva.

The agency also plans to send 100 boxes of Plumpy’doz, a specialized nutrition product which helps to treat stunting and acute malnutrition in children, and is prepared to provide ready-to-eat food rations to women and children who choose to be evacuated from the Old City of Homs, if this is granted.

WFP and its partners have had irregular access to other towns in the Homs region, including Al Rastan, Al Houlah, Talbisah, Ter Ma’ala and Ghanto, meaning that food deliveries have only been possible every three to six months through interagency convoys, when conditions allow.

The agency is increasingly concerned for people living in hard-to-reach areas across Syria with no access to food assistance, Ms. Byrs stressed. Over 775,000 people in Al-Raqqa, Al-Hassakeh and Deir Ezzor have not received WFP aid for consecutive months, while over 40 locations in Rural Damascus remain under siege, affecting an estimated 800,000 people.

WFP has repeatedly called for sustained access to all parts of Syria where regular access to communities is limited. “It is not just one convoy into the Old City of Homs but access to all communities needing help that is required,” Ms. Byrs said.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has provided a list of supplies to the Government for approval on the interagency convoy, including emergency medical kit and a cholera kit, soap and hygiene materials, water treatment supplies and oral rehydration salts, winter clothing for infants and polio vaccines, spokesperson Marixie Mercado told the briefing.

All of those supplies are available at the UNICEF Homs warehouse, about 10 kilometres from the Old City, and can go in as soon as they have a green light.

Meanwhile the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) reported that it has been unable to deliver aid to 18,000 residents of the Yarmouk camp near Damascus for the past 10 days.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Tel Aviv: 10,000 Protest In Tel Aviv For Peace & End To Occupation

Under a coalition of Israeli left-wing political parties and organizations, thousands gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square in the largest anti-war demonstration since the outbreak of violence in Gaza. More>>

ALSO:

Al Jazeera: Amal Alamuddin Lays Down Law On Jailing Journalists In Egypt

Amal Alamuddin, leading human rights lawyer, and expert on Egyptian legal system, has detailed the injustices in the Egyptian trial of three Al Jazeera English journalists in an incisive opinion piece for the Huffington Post. More>>

Ebola:UN Health Agency Reports Encouraging Signs In Nigeria

UNICEF and Partners take to the streets of Conakry, the capital of Guinea, to provide information on how to combat the Ebola outbreak as well as distribute soap and chlorine. Photo: UNICEF Guinea More>>



Indigenous Tribes: Peru Criticized For Failing Its Most Vulnerable Citizens

Peru Criticized for Failing Its Most Vulnerable Citizens Several weeks after seven uncontacted Indians emerged near the Brazil-Peru border, more uncontacted Indians have made first contact with Brazilian government agents, reportedly fleeing attacks ... More>>

Iraq: UN Declares Iraq ‘Level 3 Emergency’

The distribution of tents and non-food aid continues as the population of Newroz camp grows as more and more Yazidis arrive from Mount Sinjar in Iraq. Photo: UNHCR More>>

Ebola: Ebola: UN Says More Than 1 Million People Affected

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today convened a United Nations system-wide coordination meeting in response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which is now affecting more than 1 million people in the so-called “hot zone of disease transmission” ... More>>


UN News: ‘World Must Act Now’ To Avert Famine In Somalia

A United Nations human rights expert today urged the international community to “act now” to avert a humanitarian disaster in Somalia, where a widening hunger crisis has sparked fears of a repeat of the 2011 famine that devastated the war-ravaged ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news