United Nations News Centre – Syria: UN officials urge humanitarian access to thousands trapped by intense fighting.
Summary: Frustrated by the dire plight of civilians in Syria, the United Nations humanitarian chief reiterated her call for an end to the fighting, access for aid workers, and respect for international human rights and humanitarian law.
“The continued failure by parties to the conflict to protect civilians across Syria means that women, men, and children continue to be killed, injured and displaced across the country,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said in a statement.
She urged commitment by all parties “to stop actions that result in loss of civilian lives, to allow access for aid organizations, and to respect their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law,” Ms. Amos noted, adding that she and colleagues in the humanitarian and human rights community have publicly and frequently called for the violence to stop.
Aid officials – at risk to their own lives – are trying to get to civilians caught in the fighting, Ms. Amos said.
“They need our support to be able to safely reach all people in need, wherever they are in Syria,” she urged. “Their job is to be neutral and impartial and it remains vital that efforts to provide humanitarian aid are separate from political agendas.”
Meanwhile, the head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) urged “immediate safe access” to families caught in the fighting in Al Waer neighbourhood of Homs where some 400,000 people are believed to be living in partially constructed buildings, schools and other public buildings.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
Valerie Amos Baroness Amos