UN plans to step up delivery of aid to Syria

Published: Monday 29th February 2016 by The News Editor

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The United Nations announced it will deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance to about 154,000 people living in besieged locations in Syria over the next five days.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the aid will include food, water and sanitation supplies, as well as non-food items and medicine to people trapped in dangerous areas.

It called on all parties to ensure unconditional, unimpeded and sustained access to all 4.6 million people in hard-to-reach or besieged locations across Syria.

The UN estimates that close to half a million people in Syria are trapped in areas under blockade across the war-ravaged country.

Aid deliveries are a main opposition demand ahead of the planned resumption of Syrian peace talks in Geneva on March 7.

Earlier, t he French foreign minister called for a meeting “without delay” of a task force to monitor a cessation of hostilities in Syria following reports of air strikes targeting the moderate opposition.

Jean-Marc Ayrault made the comments shortly before addressing a meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura had already been planning a meeting of the task force, led by the United States and Russia, later in the day.

Mr Ayrault told reporters he planned to discuss the “attacks including by air” with Mr de Mistura and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Critics say Russia and Syrian forces have been targeting the moderate opposition.

The cessation of hostilities has largely held despite violations by both sides since it went into effect at midnight on Friday.

Published: Monday 29th February 2016 by The News Editor

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