UN to deliver humanitarian aid to 154,000 people in Syria

The United Nations will deliver humanitarian aid to hard-hit areas in war-torn Syria over the next five days, a UN official said Monday.

The aid will provide "life-saving humanitarian assistance to about 154,000 people living in besieged locations inside Syria," Yacoub El Hillo, resident and humanitarian coordinator in Syria, said in a statement.

The announcement comes as a Russian-US-brokered ceasefire appeared to hold for a third day, despite reported violations on several fronts which fall under the ceasefire agreement.

The UN said the ceasefire was "the best opportunity that the Syrian people have had over the last five years for lasting peace and stability."

The UN, which already provides humanitarian aid to millions of Syrians every month, added it was ready to deliver assistance to a further 1.7 million people in the first quarter of 2016, if groups involved in the conflict agreed.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Syria confirmed that some 50 UN trucks carrying "non-food aid" will enter the town of Maadamiyat al-Sham in southern Syria on Monday. 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least seven people, including four children, were killed late Sunday when unidentified planes bombed rebel-held areas in the western sector of Aleppo.

The UN responded by calling for the "immediate lifting of all sieges imposed by any of the parties of the conflict in all besieged towns in Syria where close to 500,000 people are trapped."

The Britain-based Observatory added that rebels also shelled regime forces in the city of Aleppo.

Earlier this month government forces backed by intense Russian airstrikes broke through rebel lines north of Aleppo, cutting off the opposition's supply lines from the Turkish border.

Russia and the US have set up a mechanism to exchange information on the locations of groups who are taking part in the ceasefire, which does not apply to UN-designated terrorist organizations such as Islamic State and al-Nusra Front.

Last update: Mon, 29/02/2016 - 11:45

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