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Syria approves aid delivery to 19 besieged areas: UN

10 June 2016 9:03

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The UN says the Syrian government has given approval for humanitarian convoys to reach all besieged areas in the country by the end of this month.

“We were informed by our team in Damascus that basically there has been permission, an approval… by the government of Syria for all 19 besieged areas,” Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria, told reporters in the Swiss city of Geneva on Thursday.

The UN envoy made the remarks after the weekly meeting of the Syria humanitarian task force, which has for months been attempting to boost aid supplies to millions of Syrians trapped in hard-to-reach areas across the country.

This comes as the task force has recently come under pressure by some Western countries, including France and Britain, to start air-dropping aid into besieged areas.

However, De Mistura voiced hope that a surge of road convoys in the coming weeks would make dangerous and costly air deliveries unnecessary.

The delivery is part of a UN-backed deal sealed earlier between the Damascus government and the militants. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) is cooperating with the United Nations on the aid deliveries.

Damascus has pledged full cooperation with the UN and the Red Cross to deliver humanitarian aid to all civilians “without any discrimination,” including those in hard-to-reach areas.

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