UN: 70 percent of besieged areas in Syria still cut off from aid

Published March 31st, 2016 - 08:35 GMT
Residents of Madaya, one of Syria's besieged towns, are seen waiting to receive humanitarian aid. (File photo)
Residents of Madaya, one of Syria's besieged towns, are seen waiting to receive humanitarian aid. (File photo)

Despite a recent increase in humanitarian access in Syria, the UN has been unable to reach 70 percent of Syrians living under siege and more than 90 per cent of those in hard-to-reach areas, UN humanitarian affairs chief Stephen O'Brien said Wednesday.

O'Brien, who briefed the UN Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria, said that the cessation of hostilities that began a month ago has resulted in a considerable decrease in violence, though, humanitarian access was still lacking.

He noted that since the beginning of the year, aid convoys have reached 150,000 people in 11 of 18 besieged areas. An additional 199,000 people living in hard-to-reach areas have received aid, too.

O'Brien warned that the vast majority of the 4.6 million Syrians living under siege or in hard-to-reach regions are still without aid "due to insecurity and obstructions by the parties."

"Even as we acknowledge the recent progress on humanitarian access, we must also recognize that it is only a first step to what is required," he said.

"Truth be told, we are a long way from the sustained, unconditional and unimpeded access that is required of the parties under international law and was and is demanded by this council in its resolutions."


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