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

 

Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:

Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>

ALSO:

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news