UN Syria aid force concerned over slow paced delivery

Supervisor of UN aid announces efforts to obtain humanitarian aid to Syria’s besieged areas risk losing impetus

Photo by: AA (Archive)
Photo by: AA (Archive)

Convoy of vehicles carrying humanitarian aid, sent by United Nations (UN), are stopped on their way.

The United Nations Syria aid force said on Thursday that efforts towards delivering humanitarian aid to besieged areas in Syria have lost momentum for the past several weeks, with the delay of aid convoys or the removal of surgical equipment.

"We still have not gotten access, a greenlight to go at all to Douma, Daraya, east Harasta - three areas," Jan Egeland, chairman of the task force on humanitarian aid, told reporters following a weekly meeting organised by major and regional powers in order to assess the aid progress.

However, he was certain that the UN World Food Programme (WFP) would be able to start carrying out their usual air drops of vital needs to the 200,000 people trapped in DAESH-besieged Deir al-Zor in the next two weeks.

Syrians wait for the arrival of an aid convoy on January 11, 2016 in the besieged town of Madaya. (AFP Archive)

International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) spokesman Pawel Krzysiek said last week that aid deliveries to Syrian people in need remains to be difficult because of the continuing siege of regime leader Bashar al Assad’s forces and armed groups including DAESH despite a nearly one month-old ceasefire agreement.

“The cessation of hostilities – honestly I don’t see the difference,” he said.

“The hard to reach areas continue to be hard to reach, for several reasons: humanitarian negotiations, security, coordination on the ground, the procedures," Krzysiek said stressing the importance of providing permanent aid to besieged Syrians.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights released a warning on Tuesday stating that a total number of 530 people were killed in Syria in areas covered by the cessation of hostilities agreement during its first 23 days.

The Humanitarian Relief Foundation (İHH) has sent an aid convoy to Syria. (AA Archive)

Red Cross made a statement on March 19, titled “Syria: How much longer?” which revealed the urgent need of a more effective solution for the Syrian people.

The statement said, “over 13.5 million people in the country are still in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, five million of them children, many of whom have only known war.”

According to ICRC more than “6.6 million people have been displaced internally in five-years of Syrian war” and “over 9 million people have now fled the fighting in Steh country, the majority to the neighbouring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.”

TRTWorld and agencies