News / Middle East

UN: Better Aid Access Needed to Nearly 3 Million Syrians

FILE - Humanitarian chief Valeria Amos listens a news conference after the seventh Syrian Humanitarian Forum at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, February 2013.
FILE - Humanitarian chief Valeria Amos listens a news conference after the seventh Syrian Humanitarian Forum at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, February 2013.
Margaret Besheer
— U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is urging greater access for humanitarian workers in Syria, saying only “modest progress” has been made in recent months in reaching some of the nearly 3 million people in besieged areas.

Valerie Amos has made numerous trips to the region and has met with all influential parties over many months in an attempt to remove obstacles to the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid across Syria.

In October, the 15-nation U.N. Security Council was able for the first time to agree on anything having to do with the crisis, calling for better access for aid agencies.

On Tuesday, Amos updated a closed meeting of the council on the situation in Syria. Afterwards, she told reporters there has been “modest progress” in the granting of visas for aid workers and noted the Syrian government’s decision to allow the U.N. three more aid hubs within the country, raising the total to six. She said improvements in other areas, however, have been insufficient.

“However, I did remind the council that on some of the more difficult areas - protection of civilians, demilitarization of schools and hospitals, access to besieged communities and also cross-line access to hard-to-reach areas - we have not seen any progress on those,” said Amos.

She said about a quarter of a million people are in communities that aid workers cannot reach at all, while 2.5 million are in difficult to reach areas that aid workers may have been to only once.

Diplomats have said that if the October council statement did not lead to satisfactory progress on the humanitarian front, the council could consider a resolution.

French Ambassador Gérard Araud, who took over the council’s rotating presidency this week, said at a news conference there is reluctance among some council members to go for a resolution ahead of peace talks scheduled for late January in Geneva.

“We have very clear messages from certain members of the council that they are willing to impose a veto even on humanitarian aid [resolution]. So it is an important issue," said  Araud. Certain members of the council believe that a crisis on the humanitarian issue could undermine Geneva II, so members of the council prefer that the debate not be opened at this point on a humanitarian resolution.”

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said his government has recently taken measures to facilitate humanitarian access, including the granting of more visas and running more aid convoys jointly with the U.N. and international aid agencies. He said these agencies may now enter Syria through Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, but not from Turkey.

The United Nations estimates that about 6.8 million people in Syria are in need of critical assistance.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid