No deal yet on safe delivery of humanitarian assistance to Homs

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Syrian residents whose homes were destroyed by shelling

The convoy to deliver humanitarian assistance to civilians trapped in the besieged Syrian old city of Homs will not proceed until guarantees of safe passage are granted by both government and opposition groups, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA.

The organisation says negotiations between the two warring parties over humanitarian have not yielded any positive outcome.

The aid convoy is carrying urgently needed food, medical supplies, vaccines and other non-food items to benefit at least 2,500 people.

Jens Laerke is the OCHA spokesperson in Geneva.

"Negotiations between the armed opposition and the government continues with a view to grant access into the old city of Homs and also to allow evacuation of civilians and it will be up to those parties, opposition groups and government groups to negotiate among themselves to make it possible for us to create the conditions, the circumstances in which we can provide this aid in a way that is safe for those delivering it and safe for those receiving it. There is a handful of agencies that remain on standby to deliver assistance of up to 2,500 people. The number of trucks and the amount of aid going in and the modalities for their delivery is part of this negotiations between the government and opposition groups."

The World Food Programme (WFP) says it has increased its operational capacity to feed up to 4.25 million people this month, but road closures are impeding delivery of food throughout the country.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1:37

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