Daraya food must arrive, says Syria aid coordinator

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UN Syria humanitarian taskforce coordinator Jan Egeland said he had “no guarantees” but believed that June will be a better month for aid deliveries. Photo: UN Photo/Daniel Johnson

In Syria, deliveries of vitally needed food to the besieged town of Daraya must happen soon, the UN warned Thursday.

Speaking in Geneva, humanitarian taskforce coordinator Jan Egeland confirmed that a "limited" amount of mainly medical supplies had been delivered to the town for the first time this week since 2012.

He also said that the total number of besieged areas in the wartorn country has risen to 19, echoing Deputy Special Envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy's message that air deliveries of aid have not been ruled out if road access does not improve.

Here's Daniel Johnson's report:

Only two days into June, Jan (Yan) Egeland said that accessing besieged communities inside Syria "can be, seems to be, much better".

But the situation remains desperate in the wartorn country, with Al-Waer outside Homs now added to the list of besieged locations and being "possibly the worst place for nutrition of all".

The humanitarian taskforce coordinator's comments come after limited supplies reached Daraya, which hasn't received outside help since 2012.

This first delivery included mainly medical supplies and baby milk; previously, they've not been let in.

Egeland said that proof that the situation has improved will be if food convoys are allowed quickly into Daraya.

He added that government or government-aligned forces are laying siege to 16 out of 19 areas.

"There are clear indications it will go within a very short period of time, we've been waiting four years for this, another day is not the issue, the issue is it needs to go through. It is clear test, we need to also have the food…"

At Egeland's side, Deputy Special Envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy said that humanitarian access is still not good enough inside Syria, and that air deliveries of aid by helicopter have not been ruled out.

So far this year the UN has reached more than 820,000 people in besieged and hard to reach areas in Syria since the start of the year.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 1'20"


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