Turtle Bay
Syria refuses visit by UN relief coordinator

STATEMENT ON SYRIA UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS AND EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR, VALERIE AMOS (New York, 29 February 2012) I am deeply disappointed that I have not been able to visit Syria, despite my repeated requests to meet Syrian officials at the highest level to discuss the humanitarian situation and the need for unhindered access to the people affected by the violence. Given the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation, with an increasing need for medical assistance, food and basic supplies, improving access, so that assistance can reach those in urgent need, is a matter of the highest priority. I support ICRC’s call for a daily pause in hostilities so that humanitarian organizations can evacuate the wounded and deliver essential supplies of food and medicine. Every day that we are not able to reach people, especially in the towns where there is heavy fighting, prolongs their suffering. The United Nations and its partners stand ready to help humanitarian aid reach people in desperate need in Syria.