Statement on Syria - Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos
(New York, 29 July) I am extremely concerned by the impact of shelling and use of tanks and other heavy weapons on people in Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city, as well as in the capital Damascus and surrounding towns.
The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent estimate that some 200,000 people have fled fighting in Aleppo and surrounding areas in the last two days. It is not known how many people remain trapped in places where fighting continues today.
Many people have sought temporary shelter in schools and other public buildings in safer areas. They urgently need food, mattresses and blankets, hygiene supplies and drinking water.
I call on all parties to the fighting to ensure that they do not target civilians and that they allow humanitarian organizations safe access to bring urgent and life-saving help to people caught up in the fighting.
The security situation in cities and along main transport routes is making it very difficult for humanitarian agencies to reach displaced families in Aleppo, Hama and other areas.
Despite the very dangerous situation, the Red Crescent, UN agencies and partners have continued to deliver food, blankets and hygiene kits whenever and wherever they can, and are dispatching thousands more items.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.