The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria is appealing to all parties to reach an agreement for immediate access to the besieged Four Towns of Al-Zabadani, Al-Fu’ah, Kafraya and Madaya. Sixty thousand innocent people are trapped there in a cycle of daily violence and deprivation, where malnutrition and lack of proper medical care prevail. The last humanitarian convoy provided by the UN and partners reached them on 28 November 2016. Meanwhile, as people’s suffering in all Four Towns continues along with their repeated requests for immediate humanitarian assistance, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and his team have been exerting continuous efforts to reach the Four Towns since November 2016 albeit without success.
Mr. Ali Al-Za’tari, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, stressed that the situation is a looming humanitarian catastrophe. The principle of free access to people in need must be implemented now and without repeated requests for access as the humanitarian needs do not stop. Al-Za’tari added “The unfair and totally unjustified besiegement is compounded by the tit-for-tat arrangement between the Four Towns, which makes humanitarian access prone to painstaking negotiations that are not based on humanitarian principles. This has prevented medical cases from receiving proper treatment and evacuation. People are in need, and they cannot wait any longer. We need to act now.” The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator urges all directly involved forces and all parties which have influence on them to convince them to allow urgent humanitarian assistance, including medical evacuations, to take place without delay. The moral and ethical accountability befalls all those who hinder this access. The UN and humanitarian partners are ready to provide humanitarian assistance to the Four Towns as soon as negotiations with these parties to the conflict come to fruition.
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