GENEVA / SYRIA EGELAND

16-Feb-2017 00:03:15
The UN special adviser for Syria Jan Egeland said “we were great when there was co-leadership by the United States and Russia last year," adding "we have not seen that of late." UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / SYRIA EGELAND
TRT: 3:15
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 16 FEBRUARY 2017, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, press stakeout
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Egeland, Special Advisor to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria:
“We were great when there was co-leadership by the United States and Russia last year. We have not seen that of late, we have not had as much progress of late. I think that can come back, I am convinced it will come back.”
4. Med shot, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Egeland, Special Advisor to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria:
“It is a mixed picture, but there are certainly some achievements. In all of 2015 only 488, 000 people in besieged and hard-to-areas were reached. In 2016 we reached nearly 1.3 million – two and a half times more people reached.”
6. Close up, journalist
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Egeland, Special Advisor to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria:
“We also saw in the course of 2016 that for the first time we had real responses from the government on all of the requests to go to places where civilians were in great need. 2014 and 2015 much of the requests were never answered. Some 70 percent of our requests were approved in the course of the year, however only 27 percent of the people were on average reached each month.”
8. Med shot, journalists
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Egeland, Special Advisor to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria:
“67 of the 99 inter-agency convoys had medical relief off loaded, more than two thirds. And it is beyond belief that men with guns and power can really want to spend their time in off-loading diarrhea kits for children, or midwifery kits for pregnant women, or family hygiene kits and all of the other things that have been off loaded and were off loaded as in recent days in the convoy to the hard-to-reach place Al Rastan.”
10. Close up, Special Assistant
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Jan Egeland, Special Advisor to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria: “It is a shame that members of the taskforce were not able to lift a single siege by negotiations in 2016. There is commitment to try to do that in 2017, it could happen through talks in Astana, in Geneva and elsewhere - lift the sieges is our appeal.”
12. Various shots, journalists
STORYLINE
The UN special advisor for Syria Jan Egeland said “we were great when there was co-leadership by the United States and Russia last year," adding "we have not seen that of late."

Speaking today (16 Feb) to reporters in Geneva Egeland also said “we have not had as much progress of late. I think that can come back, I am convinced it will come back.”

One year on from the creation of the Humanitarian Taskforce to help bring aid and save lives in the long-standing conflict in Syria, he noted that international cooperation through the taskforce had allowed for aid to reach more than twice the number of people in need in 2016 than in the previous year, but warned that success depended on resuming such joint efforts.

Summarizing the humanitarian aid in Syria in 2016, Egeland stressed “it is a mixed picture, but there are certainly some achievements. In all of 2015 only 488, 000 people in besieged and hard-to-areas were reached. In 2016 we reached nearly 1,3 million – two and a half times more people were reached.”

The comments came a few days ahead of a round of intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva, set to begin on 23 February.

According to the UN humanitarian adviser on Syria, from 620,000 food rations in 2015 more than 3.3 million rations were given to vulnerable civilians in 2016. The airdrops of the World Food Programme to Deir ez-Zor in the desert were “a unique operation in the history of high attitude airdrops.”

Regarding access to besieged and hard to reach areas, Egeland said “in the course of 2016 for the first time we had real responses from the government on all of the requests to go to places where civilians were in great need”. He added that “2014 and 2015 much of the requests were never answered. Some 70 percent of our requests were approved in the course of the year, however only 27 % of the people were on average reached each month.”

Egeland reported that in 2016 medical relief and medical facilities were attacked 338 times according to reports received, and “many doctors and nurses were killed or wounded.”

Armed groups off-loading medical relief items from aid convoys remains a major challenge to effective delivery. He said "it is beyond belief that men with guns and power can really want to spend their time in off-loading diarrhoea kits for children, or midwifery kits for pregnant women, or family hygiene kits and all of the other things that have been off loaded and were off loaded as in recent days in the convoy to the hard-to-reach place Al Rastan."

Egeland also struck a cautionary note saying “it is a shame that members of the taskforce were not able to lift a single siege by negotiations in 2016." He added “there is commitment to try to do that in 2017, it could happen through talks in Astana, in Geneva and elsewhere - lift the sieges is our appeal.”
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