Please allow images for this mail. On this image: AID OBSTACLES ARE ‘MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH’ FOR BESIEGED SYRIANS, SAYS SENIOR UN ADVISERHumanitarian supplies are delivered in Madaya in Syria during a UN-interagency initiative to ‘Four Towns’ – Foah, Kafraya, Madaya and Az Zabadani – delivering urgently needed humanitarian assistance to 60,000 people. Photo: WFP/Hussam Al Saleh

16 February 2017 – Assurances have been given to humanitarians by the Syrian Government that obstacles to aid deliveries will be removed across the war-torn country, a senior United Nations adviser said today.

Speaking to journalists in Geneva, UN Special Adviser Jan Egeland said that the agreement was needed to remove what he called an “administrative quagmire” that has prevented all aid from reaching besieged populations by road so far this year.

Ahead of a round of Intra-Syrian negotiations in the Swiss city next week, Mr. Egeland added that the issue is “a question of life and death” for many.

So far this year, aid agencies and their partners have not reached a single besieged area inside Syria by land. There are 13 of these besieged and hard-to-reach areas in all, where well over 600,000 people are increasingly vulnerable, after six years of war.

Mr. Egeland described the lack of aid deliveries as an “enormous disappointment,” before announcing that the Syrian Government had given assurances that requests to deliver food and medical supplies would be met, rather than being blocked at the last moment.

In recent days “men with guns” had jumped onto more than two in three convoys to unload diarrhoea kits for children and maternity kits for pregnant women, Mr. Egeland said.Read more


Robert Williams Editor in Chief