Syrian civilians ‘desperate’ for immediate ceasefire: UN aid coordinator

8 February 2018

Lives are being lost “every hour” that conflict continues to rage in Syria, and civilians are desperate for the warring parties to respond to the UN’s appeal for a cessation of hostilities.

That’s according to Panos Moumtzis, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, speaking in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Thursday.

UN officials in Syria issued a joint statement on 5 February, warning of the “dire consequences” facing civilians in conflict zones such as eastern Ghouta, Afrin, Raqqah, and across Idleb Governorate, if bombardment and shelling continues.

As fighting escalates, “the number of civilians affected by violence is bound to increase”, the statement warns.

With Syria now approaching its eighth year of brutal conflict, Mr. Moumtzis told UN News that medical and food supplies had to be allowed into besieged and hard-to-reach areas.

“At the moment, humanitarian deployment is failing”, he said, adding that the UN was using every means possible to convince the Syrian government forces, opposition fighters and other armed groups, to lay down their arms.


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