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

 


Signs Of Ebola Decline In Liberia Offer ‘Glimmer Of Hope’

Equipped with UNICEF-developed and Government-approved awareness materials, these girls go door-to-door in West Point, Monrovia, to educate their parents, family members and friends about Ebola and how it can be prevented. Photo: UNICEF/UNI171713/Griggers More>>

ALSO:

Allegations Of Misreporting By Joint Darfur Mission

Ban ‘Deeply Troubled’ by Findings of Review of Allegations of Misreporting by Joint Darfur Mission More>>

Status Quo Not Viable Option’ In Jerusalem

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefs the Security Council at its meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe More>>

ALSO:

  • ITUC - Israel’s Settlement Expansion is an Outrage
  • World News: No To TPP Trade-Offs

    No to TPP Trade-Offs, Say Public Health, Fair Trade Activists at Sydney TPP Ministers’ Meeting More>>

    ALSO:

  • AFTINET - Fair Trade Group Calls for Release of TPP Text
  • Al Jazeera Interpol Rejects Egypt Request For Red Notice On Journalist

    Interpol, the international organisation for police cooperation, has rejected a request from Egypt to issue one of its red notices against Ahmed Mansour, an Al Jazeera journalist. More>>

    UN-Backed Study: Fruit Flies To Prompt Better Pest Controls

    Bactrocera dorsalis is causing “incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security” across a swathe of countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific and parts of South America. Photo: IAEA/Viwat Wornoayporn More>>


    ‘The Only Way To Stop Ebola Is At Its Source’ – UN Chief

    Girls in the city of Voinjama look at a poster that displays information and illustrations about how to prevent the spread of Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/2014/Liberia/Jallanzo More>>

    ALSO:

  • Christian World Service - CWS appeals for help to Stop Ebola
  • UN: Multi-Billion Dollar Horn Of Africa Pledge

    UN’s Ban, Global Leaders Join Forces in Multi-Billion Dollar Horn of Africa Pledge More>>


     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news