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

 


Syria: UN Agency Awaits Clearance to Resume Aid Delivery

Syria: UN Agency Awaits Clearance to Resume Aid Delivery to Palestinian Camp

New York, Feb 20 2014 - The United Nations agency charged with ensuring the well-being of Palestinian refugees throughout the Middle East is awaiting clearance to again resume distributing aid in a camp near Damascus, where just yesterday it had been able to reach civilians in desperate need.

“There was no distribution of food or humanitarian assistance today in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, which is regrettable given the desperate humanitarian plight of the civilian population there, said Christopher Gunness, spokesperson for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

However, a few critically sick people were evacuated in arrangements between the authorities and concerned parties. UNRWA is awaiting clearance to resume distribution tomorrow 21 February.

Mr. Gunness said the parties to the agreement have had lengthy discussions on ensuring implementation of their agreement so as to enable sustained food distribution, and on allowing UNRWA to resume food distribution and other humanitarian activities from UNRWA facilities inside Yarmouk.

“The discussions are yet to come to any firm conclusion,” he said, adding: “UNRWA stands ready to resume humanitarian work inside Yarmouk immediately clearance is given.”

Yesterday, UNRWA was able to deliver food for around 280 families – the first such shipment since fighting forced the agency to suspend activities in the camp for 11 days.

The UN agency had distributed over 6,500 food parcels of food and other supplies to civilians in the camp since mid-January. Each parcel lasts an average family only about 10 days, so provisions had all run out by the time a new shipment was allowed in.

Prior to the armed conflict in Syria, which began in March 2011, Yarmouk – a suburb just south of Damascus – was home to over 160,000 Palestine refugees. Since December 2012, fighting has caused at least 140,000 Palestine refugees to flee their homes in Yarmouk, as armed opposition groups established a presence in the area, with Government forces controlling the periphery.

Starvation and illnesses exacerbated by hunger or lack of medical aid have contributed to some 100 people dying in the camp in recent months, according to UN figures.

During food delivery, UNRWA said a crowd of “desperate civilians surged towards the distribution,” disrupted the operation for over three hours.

“The crowd control issues that arose today reflect the massive pressure of hunger, misery and desperation that continue to afflict civilians in Yarmouk,” Mr. Gunness said.

In a statement on behalf of UNRWA, he called on all concerned parties to facilitate the establishment of “a more dignified and effective system” to distribute aid in Yarmouk.

He said that during yesterday’s distribution, UN staff heard “passionate and vocal demands” for “substantial, sustained humanitarian access for Yarmouk, for the restoration of UNRWA services, and for Yarmouk to be rapidly opened for normal civilian life.”

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

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news