Press Release

Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria and the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator

19 November 2016
The United Nations is extremely saddened and appalled by the recent escalation in fighting in several parts of Syria and calls on all parties to cease indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructures.In recent days the attacks included hospitals in east Aleppo and the university in west Aleppo. Likewise, in the past 24 hours, mortar shells targeted residential neighborhoods of Damascus, while counter-shelling of several suburbs of the city continued.Syrian civilians on all sides of the divide are at the receiving end of the escalating violence.
 
Moreover, the besiegement of east Aleppo and the strong grip of non-state armed groups in that region of Aleppo have effectively meant that civilians have become in dire and urgent need of protection and humanitarian assistance. The UN stands ready to assist them, as soon as access is granted by all parties. 
 
The UN has shared with all parties to the conflict in Aleppo and member states concerned a detailed humanitarian plan to provide urgently needed assistance to the inhabitants of east Aleppo, and conduct medical evacuations for the ill and injured” confirmed both Ali Al-Za’tari, the Syria Humanitarian Coordinator, and Kevin Kennedy, the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis. “It is imperative all parties agree to the plan and allow us to secure immediate, safe and unimpeded access to provide relief to those most in need in east Aleppo, but equally in all other parts of Syria where there are people in need”, they asserted.  
 
The UN calls on all parties to the conflict to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure from the effects of hostilities as required by international humanitarian and human rights law. The UN further calls on all parties to ensure unconditional, unimpeded and sustained access to the millions of people in need, particularly those in besieged and hard-to-reach areas across Syria. 
 
For further information, please contact:
Ghalia Seifo, Damascus, seifo@un.org Tel: +963953300078
Sajeda Shawa, Amman, shawas@un.org  Tel: +962790224591
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