Heavy fighting depriving Syrians of humanitarian assistanceListen /
United Nations aid agencies are appealing for the safe passage of aid convoys delivering humanitarian aid to civilians inside Syria.
According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP), several convoys have had to be cancelled or delayed due to intensified fighting and in, some cases, attacks on the aid convoys.
Adrian Edwards from UNHCR says the delay in delivering humanitarian assistance was depriving many Syrians and refugees living in the country of vitally needed help.
"UNHCR is working with government and non-government parties to see that aid gets through. However, right now assistance is only reaching a fraction of those in need. Despite the security difficulties, UNHCR has been working to scale up its operations. Since the start of 2013 we have had aid deliveries to Deir Ezzor, Daraa, Ar Raqqah, Idlib, and Hama. The 70,000 refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia still living in Syria are facing the same hardship and dangers as their Syrian hosts. UNHCR remains committed to assisting and protecting this vulnerable population, many of whom have limited coping mechanisms."
The United Nations estimates that up to 3.5 million people are displaced inside Syria.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.