UN insists on 48-hour humanitarian pause to deliver aid to Aleppo

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Internally displaced Syrian children play in the streets of Aleppo (2014). UNHCR/Bassam Diab

The UN is calling for a 48-hour humanitarian pause in order to deliver much-needed aid to civilians trapped in the fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

The truce is a symbolic gesture in advance of the commemoration of World Humanitarian Day (WHD) on Friday, the UN Special Envoy for Syria said.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The Syrian people need help now, the UN Special Envoy for Syria told reporters in Geneva on Thursday.

There is too much waiting, too many details and too many negotiations, Staffan de Mistura noted.

He adjourned a weekly Humanitarian Task Force meeting as a symbol of "deep concern and as a sign of respect" towards World Humanitarian Day.

"Our message is clear, the Secretary-General has made it, and so have we heard from Stephen O’Brien and frankly from Peter Maurer, the ICRC President. We ask for at least a pause of 48 hours – we insist on this, in order to achieve anything meaningful for Aleppo – to start with Aleppo; a 48-hour pause that would allow UN humanitarian convoys, unhindered, to go via the Castello road to Aleppo, to everyone in Aleppo, because the city is one, east and west. We are ready. Where is the pause?"

Not a single convoy has reached any of the besieged areas in the last month, de Mistura added.

However, the World Food Programme has been able to airdrop relief items to Deir-ez Zor.

Meanwhile, he underscored, eastern Aleppo remains besieged and western Aleppo in threat of becoming besieged.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’25″

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