Syria: UN relief chief 'disappointed' that aid workers still unable to safely access eastern Aleppo

19 September 2016

Expressing disappointment that humanitarian actors have not been able to reach eastern Aleppo in Syria, the United Nations humanitarian chief urged all parties to the conflict to facilitate regular and sustained access to the besieged and hard-to-reach areas across the country.

“I am pained and disappointed that a UN convoy has yet to cross into Syria from Turkey, and safely reach eastern Aleppo,” said UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien in a statement issued today by his office (OCHA).

“The people of Syria have suffered long enough. Millions of Syrian civilians continue to face horrific deprivation and violence, especially those trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas,” he added.

According to the statement, the 20-truck UN convoy would have been the first of two that would have carried flour and other food supplies, enough to feed some 185,000 people in Aleppo for one month. It added that some 275,000 people remain trapped in the city without food, water, proper shelter or medical care.

Noting that humanitarian actors have not been able to reach eastern Aleppo since clashes in early July between the Government of Syria forces and non-state armed groups started, Mr. O'Brien, who is also the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, called on all parties to the conflict to facilitate regular and sustained access to those needing urgent support across the country, through both cross-line and cross-border routes.

“The United Nations continues to call for unconditional, unimpeded and sustained access to the millions of Syrian men, women and children in hard-to-reach and besieged locations,” he said.

Further stressing that humanitarian aid must remain neutral, impartial and free of political and military agendas, he noted: “The UN and our partners remain ready to meet people's needs regardless of who or where people are.”

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