Russia has agreed a 48-hour humanitarian truce in war-torn Syrian city, Aleppo to allow aid deliveries, UN officials said on Thursday.
"We are very much focused in maintaining our line, we want a 48-hour pause, the Russian Federation replied 'yes', we will wait for others to do the same," Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy for Syria, told reporters.
The United Nations has pushed for a weekly 48-hour pause in fighting in Aleppo to alleviate suffering for about 2 million people.
"We are ready, trucks are ready and they can leave anytime we get that message," de Mistura said.
The White House on Thursday said it supported UN efforts to bring all sides together to deliver humanitarian relief to Aleppo and would welcome Russia's constructive engagement.
This week UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien urged all combatants in Aleppo to agree to a 48-hour pause to allow delivery as hundreds of thousands of residents are in dire conditions due to five year long civil war.
He said that Aleppo is under heavy bombing, adding the city has became "the apex of horror" in "the greatest crisis of our time.”
UN asked to send aid to nearly 1 million people in besieged areas in August but the Syrian government approved less than half of the requests, refusing subsidies in rebel-held eastern Aleppo and several other besieged areas.
“What is happening in Aleppo today and throughout Syria over the last five years is an outrage against every moral fiber in our being as human beings, as fellow human beings, with every Syrian caught up in this unending cataclysm. And it is the failure of politics, of all of us,” O’Brien said.
“This humanitarian shame ” should urgently end, he added.
Trucks w/ humanitarian aid for Aleppo ready, can leave as soon as all sides on board, S. de Mistura, J. Egeland tell GVA press #SyriaTalks
— UN Geneva (@UNGeneva) August 25, 2016
According to Jan Egeland, who chairs the weekly humanitarian task force that met in Geneva, UN expects to deliver food to the rebel-held east and government-controlled west, as well as "cross-line repair" of the electrical system in the south that powers water pumping stations that serve 1.8 million people in Aleppo.
"First, a lifeline to eastern Aleppo, going cross-border from Turkey. Initially we would be ready in the first 48-hour weekly pause to have two convoys, of 20 trucks each, that would carry enough food for 80,000 people in eastern Aleppo," he said.