Press release on the evacuation of combatants, their families and the critically injured and the delivery of humanitarian supplies in Al Waer (Homs)

(Damascus, 11 December 2015)

The United Nations (UN) in Syria and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) evacuated over 300 combatants along with their families and the critically injured from Al Waer (Homs) and transferred them into Idleb governorate as stipulated in a local Agreement between the Government of Syria and the Local Committee of Al Waer. In an evacuation operation that was carried out on Wednesday, a United Nations team and its partners moved about 700 evacuees from Al Waer, including thirty wounded.

This evacuation in addition to the previous entry of humanitarian assistance on Saturday 5 December 2015, made a significant change in the lives of more than 60,000 people with limited access to humanitarian assistance living inside Al Waer and the wider geographic area of Homs.

“These urgently needed actions are critical as they allow humanitarian actors to reach thousands of people in these hard-to-reach locations and who are in desperate need of assistance,” said Yacoub El-Hillo, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria. “This complex effort was the first ever undertaken in Al Waer,” he said.

On his side, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said that the UN’s clear goal is to reach as soon as possible a nationwide ceasefire.

“Meanwhile, initiatives like this one bring relief to besieged or isolated communities and have great value,” Mr. de Mistura said. “They help the perception that a nationwide ceasefire brokered by the members of the ISSG is doable and that the UN can and will do its part.”

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.