Red Cross says pause in Syria fighting ‘limited’

A child walks near damaged buildings in the besieged town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, Syria Feb 20, 2018. (Reuters)Syria’s Ghouta residents ‘wait to die’ as more bombs fall
Updated 27 February 2018
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Red Cross says pause in Syria fighting ‘limited’

BEIRUT:The Red Cross says Russia’s humanitarian pause in an embattled rebel-held enclave near Damascus offers little time for aid delivery and provides no guarantees of safety for besieged residents.
Ingy Sedky, the spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Damascus, said Tuesday that any respite from the fighting in eastern Ghouta is welcome, but that five hours is “very limited and there is little that we can achieve in such limited time.”
Sedky says aid was last delivered to eastern Ghouta in November, when the situation was already “very critical and very dire.” The area has been surrounded by government forces since 2013.
Russia ordered a five-hour daily pause starting Tuesday, urging civilians to leave as Moscow-backed government forces step up their offensive.
Sedky says many civilians will be afraid to use designated humanitarian corridors unless their safety can be guaranteed.


Donors pledge over $110 million to help Palestinian refugees

Updated 25 June 2019
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Donors pledge over $110 million to help Palestinian refugees

  • The $1.2 billion budget for UNRWA provides education, health care, food and other services to Palestinian refugees
  • The Trump administration cut all funding for UNRWA this year

UNITED NATIONS: Donors have pledged over $110 million to help some 5 million Palestinian refugees, an amount the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees called encouraging.
But Pierre Kraehenbuehl in an announcement Tuesday after a donor’s conference at UN headquarters said, however: “The situation does remain precarious.”
The $1.2 billion budget for the UN Relief and Works Agency provides education, health care, food and other services to refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
The Trump administration cut all funding for UNRWA this year.
Kraehenbuehl said the agency covered its expenses through May 30 but is now operating in deficit.
He expressed hope the $110 million will bridge UNRWA’s funding in coming months but said another pledging conference will be needed.