Agreement by Syria parties for humanitarian "pause" welcomed by UN

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Homs, Syria Credit: WFP/Abeer Etefa

Reports that the Syrian parties have agreed to a "humanitarian pause" to allow aid into the Old City of Homs has been welcomed by the UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos.

Jens Laerke, Spokesperson for the Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) made the announcement in response to a question by the media about humanitarian access to the besieged city.

News agencies are reporting that a ceasefire is in place in Homs and that operations to evacuate civilians from the Old City have begun.

Mr. Laerke said he was aware of these reports but would not comment any further.

"What was said yesterday is that, Valerie Amos said, we need to see unhindered, continuous and safe access for humanitarian workers to deliver aid to those trapped inside the besieged areas. That is about the humanitarian workers. But she has also previously talked about evacuation from the besieged areas which of course pertains to everybody who voluntarily want to leave- civilians who want to leave. We welcome the reports that an agreement has been reached that allowed for this evacuation."

Mr. Laerke did say that an inter-agency convoy was ready and loaded with stocks of food, medical supplies, non-food items and winterizations items for up to 2,500 people.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’22″

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