One week after the agreement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) on actions to facilitate humanitarian access in Syria, relief convoys reached five besieged locations in Syria. Joint UN/ICRC/SARC convoys delivered food, health/medical supplies and non-food emergency assistance to approximately 82 000 people in the towns of Moadamiyeh, Zabadani, Madaya (Rural Damascus), Foah and Kafraya (Idleb). The operation started on 17 February with all planned distributions for the week completed on 18 February.
The deliveries were the first significant aid distribution in Moadamiyeh in more than one year and a half. A severe humanitarian situation was observed by humanitarian workers accompanying the convoy. The operation also allowed the resumption of aid distribution to the other locations for which authorizations for relief convoys had been pending since January. Preparations of relief convoys to Kafr Batna (Rural Damascus) and additional convoys to Moadamiyeh are underway; while the organization of airdrops to deliver assistance to Deir ez-Zor is being planned by the WFP with the support of ISSG members.
With the facilitation of the ISSG Humanitarian Task Force, the next step is to ensure consecutive and regular aid deliveries to all locations above until the end of February. In addition, the Task Force has started working on plans to access all remaining besieged areas of Syria; thus reaching about 480 000 people with life-saving humanitarian aid.
In parallel, during the week SARC successfully delivered vaccines, medical supplies and nutritional supplements to Douma in Rural Damascus in the first delivery of such items in months. UNRWA also resumed the distribution of assistance to Yalda, Babila, Beit Salam to displaced families from the Palestine refugee camp of Yarmouk. The assistance to families in these locations had been suspended in June 2015 due to lack of necessary authorizations. UNRWA will continue assistance operations with the distribution of blankets, hygiene items and the re-opening of mobile health points in the area.