Geneva/Damascus (ICRC) – As fighting continues in and around Aleppo, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) together with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent is delivering emergency food rations for over 60,000 people displaced by violence in opposition- and government-held areas in the governorate.
In theneighbourhood of Aleppo, May 2014. @Reuters / H. Katan
"This assistance is the result of months of negotiations with various parties," said Boris Michel, head of the ICRC delegation in Syria. "The areas we reached in the last few days had not received any humanitarian aid for nine months. The needs are significant. While this is a breakthrough of sorts, we hope to do more in the coming days and weeks."
A three-truck joint ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoy crossed front lines to bring food to over 30,000 people in Al Bab and Manbij, two eastern Rural Aleppo towns where thousands of displaced have sought refuge in recent months. More food will be distributed in the coming days in Sfireh, south of Aleppo, and elsewhere in the area to meet the nutritional needs of over 30,000 internally displaced people for the next 15 days.
Civilians in and around Aleppo continue to be subjected to indiscriminate attacks. Tens of thousands of residents and displaced people in Aleppo and Rural Aleppo remain in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
Fighting has damaged water and electricity networks, with some areas left without potable water for up to two weeks. The ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent recently refurbished 16 wells in and around Aleppo that provide over 900,000 litres of drinking water daily. The organizations also supplied generators and fuel for dozens of water pumps. Emergency water and sanitation work is ongoing.
The ICRC once again calls on all parties to meet their obligations under international humanitarian law. In particular, they must spare civilian lives and facilitate the work of humanitarian aid workers.