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OPCW-UN mission reports further progress in eliminating Syria's chemical weapons

Report
UN News Service

19 April 2014 – Syria has, as of 19 April, removed or destroyed in-country approximately 80 per cent of its chemical weapons material, the head of the Joint Mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations announced today.

Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission, said in a statement that further engagement is expected to sustain momentum and to complete removal operations during the next days.

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UN agency warns no food left in besieged Palestinian refugee camp

Report
UN News Service

The recent escalation of fighting has prevented the delivery of food aid in Yarmouk, where more than 20,000 civilians are dependent on UN assistance.

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Kidnapped foreign journalists still held in Syria

04/19/2014 14:28 GMT

NICOSIA, April 19, 2014 (AFP) - Several foreign reporters remain captive in Syria, dubbed by a media watchdog as the most dangerous country for journalists, after four French colleagues were freed Saturday after 10 months in captivity.

Thirteen major international news organisations, including the New York Times, BBC News, Reuters, The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse, said in December that more than 30 journalists were being held in the war-ravaged country.

Agence France-Presse:

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French journalists free after 10-month Syria hostage ordeal

04/19/2014 12:27 GMT

by Frederic DUMOULIN with Burak AKINCI in Ankara

PARIS, April 19, 2014 (AFP) - Four French journalists taken hostage in Syria last year were freed on Saturday after a 10-month ordeal in the world's most dangerous country for the media.

French President Francois Hollande announced the release of Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres, saying they were "in good health despite the very challenging conditions of their captivity".

Agence France-Presse:

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Syria army advances in Homs as car bomb kills 14

04/19/2014 01:47 GMT

DAMASCUS, April 19, 2014 (AFP) - Syrian army forces advanced Friday around rebel-held areas of the Old City of Homs, as a car bomb hit a regime-controlled part of the city, killing 14 people.

Around 1,200 rebel fighters and nearly 200 civilians are believed to be inside the rebel-held parts of the Old City, under army siege for nearly two years.

The army, which began a broad offensive there on Tuesday, "is progressing daily by capturing buildings and tightening the noose around the terrorist groups", a security source said.

Agence France-Presse:

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The crisis in Yarmouk camp, 17 April 2014

17 APRIL 2014

Our spokesperson Chris Gunness has the following to say on the situation in Yarmouk Camp

"UNRWA was not authorised to distribute food assistance in Yarmouk on 17 April. This is the ninth consecutive day that UNRWA has been unable to distribute food assistance inside Yarmouk. Our food parcels last ten days so in about 36 hours people will have no food from the UN.

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Farnesina makes multilateral emergency contribution to OCHA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will make a multilateral emergency contribution of 200,000 euro to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for a programme aimed at the satellite monitoring of Syria that will allow the UN to monitor compliance with the obligations set out in Security Council resolution no. 2139 on access to humanitarian aid. The Security Council will receive periodical reports on compliance with international humanitarian law and, in particular, on the Syrian population’s access to humanitarian aid in areas under siege.

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UN concerned for Syrian civilians trapped in Homs

The Security Council urged the immediate implementation of a February resolution to improve humanitarian access after Syrian troops fought their way into rebel-held neighbourhoods of Homs.

Agence France-Presse:

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IOM Regional Response to the Syrian Crisis (as of 14 April 2014)

IOM provides assistance to internally displaced persons, stranded migrants and third-country refugees inside Syria as well as Syrian refugees, Iraqi and Lebanese returnees and vulnerable host communities in the neighbouring countries of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.

International Organization for Migration:

Copyright © IOM. All rights reserved.

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WFP Syria Crisis Response Situation Update: Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, 2 - 15 April 2014

HIGHLIGHTS

  • With access easier, food for 112,500 people enters Syria’s hard-to-reach Deir-ez-Zor and Ar-Raqqa governorates in the first two weeks of April. An inter-agency convoy brings WFP food assistance to IDP camps in Idleb for the third time since the beginning of March, raising hopes of more regular future deliveries.

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IOM Regional Response to the Syria Humanitarian Crisis, 1 - 14 April 2014

Syria: IOM distributed essential NFI kits to 14,355 Internally Displaced Persons from Aleppo, Homs, Idleb and Lattakia.

Iraq: IOM teams in coordination with the local council conducted vulnerability assessments of 45 Iraqi returnee households in Al-Qadisiyah governorate.

Jordan: 5,449 Syrian refugees were transported from the Rabaa’ al Sarhan Screening Centre to Za’atri camp.

Lebanon: IOM is providing livelihoods support to 90 Lebanese returnee households through business counselling and in-kind grants.

International Organization for Migration:

Copyright © IOM. All rights reserved.

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Syria rebels attack army barracks in Aleppo: NGO

04/17/2014 14:40 GMT

BEIRUT, April 17, 2014 (AFP) - Syrian rebels on Thursday attacked one of the largest military barracks in the country, in northern Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"Rebels, including fighters from Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic Front, launched an assault today on the barracks in Hanano in Aleppo," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said, adding that the fighting was ongoing.

Agence France-Presse:

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Russian Emergencies Ministry’s plane to deliver humanitarian cargo in Syria

Today pursuant to the order of the Russian President and instructions of the President and the RF Government a Russian Emergencies Ministry’s plane is going to deliver in the city of Latakia relief goods to the population of the Syrian Arab Republic affected by military action. The cargo contains foodstuffs, drugs and first necessities, over 14 tonnes in all.

The Ilyushin Il-76 of the Russian Emergencies Ministry will deliver in Moscow the citizens wishing to leave Syria.

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Displaced Syrian Christians dream of return to Maalula

04/17/2014 02:34 GMT

by Roueida MABARDI

DAMASCUS, April 17, 2014 (AFP) - In the Bab Tuma district of Syria's capital Damascus, Fadi Mayal dreams of returning home to the ancient Christian town of Maalula which was retaken by government forces this week.

But he and many other residents chased out when rebel forces including jihadists entered the town in September fear it may still be too early to go back.

Agence France-Presse:

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Three Al-Manar journalists killed near Damascus

Three Lebanese employees of Al-Manar, a TV station owned by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, were fatally shot on 14 April, in Al-Maaloula, a Christian town 60 km south of Damascus.

Al-Manar named the victims as reporter Hamza Al-Hajj Hassan, cameraman Mohamed Muntich and technician Halim Alouh. They were killed by shots fired by rebels still in Al-Maaloula after it was recovered by government forces backed by Hezbollah. The town had been in rebel hands for months.

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72.3% of Syria's chemical materials are removed from or destroyed in country

16 April 2014 - The OPCW-UN Joint Mission confirms that the 15th shipment of chemical material left the port of Latakia today. The overall percentage of chemicals removed from the Syrian Arab Republic or destroyed in the country has now reached 72.3%.

Damascus, 16 April 2014

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UNICEF statement on school attack in Damascus, Syria

Statement

DAMASCUS, Syria, 16 April 2014 - The latest reported mortar attack on a school inside the old city of Damascus on Tuesday during school hours is a stark and horrific reminder of the violence that children across Syria are enduring on a daily basis. The attack is reported to have resulted in the death of one child and the injury of many others.

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Syria Regional Response Plan ‐ RRP6 (all agencies) Funding status as at 14 April 2014

The requirements presented in this funding update refer to the 2014 Syria Regional Response Plan covering the period January to December 2014.

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Vaccinating all children across Syria remains a challenge

By Viviene Tou’meh, Syrian Arab Red Crescent

There were humanitarian issues in al-Hasakah governorate even before the conflict broke out in Syria. After three years of fighting, the situation is dire. Drought, severe winter conditions and low temperatures only make matters worse. One resident said that resources were hard to come by. “Last year, we cut the trees in order to warm ourselves and all the roads from al-Raqqah. Deir Ezzor and Aleppo were cut off causing a rise in food prices and a lack of fuel.”