UN chief calls for access for further aid convoys in Syria

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (AP)
Updated 07 March 2018
0

UN chief calls for access for further aid convoys in Syria

UNITED NATIONS: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Tuesday for aid convoys to have immediate access in Syria a day after air strikes cut short deliveries of food and medicine to Eastern Ghouta.
Guterres urged all warring sides to allow aid trucks to return Thursday to the main town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta to complete the delivery of humanitarian supplies “as previously agreed with the Syrian authorities,” a UN statement read.
As air strikes and artillery fire continued, aid workers on Monday decided to pull out of Eastern Ghouta after offloading 32 of the 46 trucks in the convoy.
Nearly half of the food carried on the convoy could not be delivered and part of the medical and health supplies were removed from the trucks by the Syrian authorities, the UN said.
Guterres “calls on all parties to immediately allow safe and unimpeded access for further convoys to deliver critical supplies to hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need,” said the statement.
His appeal came ahead of a Security Council meeting called by Britain and France to discuss the failure of a cease-fire in Syria to take hold, 10 days after the top UN body demanded the truce.
Backed by Russia, Syria’s ally, the council unanimously adopted on February 24 a resolution demanding the 30-day cessation of hostilities to allow deliveries of humanitarian aid and evacuations of the sick and wounded.
Air strikes, and artillery and rocket fire on the rebel-held enclave near the capital Damascus have killed hundreds and devastated residential areas since they began on February 18.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 800 civilians — including at least 177 children — have been killed since Russia-backed Syrian forces launched an assault on the besieged enclave on February 18.
 


Boat carrying Syrian refugees sinks off Lebanon, most rescued

Updated 22 September 2018
0

Boat carrying Syrian refugees sinks off Lebanon, most rescued

  • The boat was ferrying the refugees illegally to Cyprus
  • Most were rescued by the Lebanese army but at least one child drowned

BEIRUT: A boat with around three dozen Syrian refugees on board sank off the coast of Lebanon on Saturday and most were rescued by the Lebanese army but at least one child drowned, security sources said.
The boat was ferrying the refugees illegally to Cyprus, some 180 km (110 miles) away, when it foundered off the coast of northern Lebanon, the sources said. Three more of the people on boat were in a serious condition in hospital.
Lebanon is hosting around 1 million registered refugees from Syria’s civil war, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR. The Lebanese government puts the figure at around 1.5 million.