U.N. says aid convoys ready to roll again in Syria


  • World
  • Thursday, 22 Sep 2016

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations is gearing up to resume aid deliveries in Syria suspended after a deadly attack on a relief convoy near Aleppo two days ago, officials said on Wednesday.

"The preparation for these convoys has now resumed and we are ready to deliver aid to besieged and hard-to-reach areas as soon as possible," the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

"The United Nations continues to call for safe, unconditional, unimpeded and sustained access to all Syrians in need, wherever they are," it said.

Elizabeth Hoff, World Health Organization (WHO) representative in Syria, told Reuters it was preparing medical supplies for delivery on Thursday to the Damascus suburb of Moadamiya subject to the normal security risk assessments.

The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) suspended operations in Aleppo province for three days following Monday night's attack on a 31-truck convoy and warehouse in the town of Urem al-Kubra that killed a staff member and about 20 civilians. SARC has continued deliveries to other areas of Syria, officials say.

“For the time being we are assessing security in different areas. In the next 24 hours we won’t have any convoys across front lines,” said Krista Armstrong, spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

"The teams are eager to get to the four towns, which we expect to be on Saturday.” She was referring to the rebel-besieged towns of Foua and Kefraya in Idlib and government-blockaded Madaya and Zabadani near the Lebanese border.

(reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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