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24-02-2012 | Middle East

SYRIA: Halt in fighting essential to allow humanitarian relief

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) believes that the humanitarian situation in Homs and other cities affected by fighting is deteriorating. "People are in a desperate situation - they need water, food, access to medical care, some are seriously injured, " says ICRC spokesperson , Carla Haddad.

The ICRC is calling on all sides to agree to a halt in the fighting for two hours each day to allow humanitarian assistance in. The Geneva based organisation is negotiating with the Syrian authorities and with the opposition to try to get agreement to this daily pause in the fighting. " What we want is an immediate halt in the fighting so we can access Homs and the other affected areas to deliver much needed humanitarian aid," says Carla Haddad.

In February, Syrian Arab Red Crescent and ICRC teams have managed to provide humanitarian aid to the cities of Homs, Bludan, Al Zabadani and Madaya (Rural Damascus). But in the last few days, needs have rapidly increased. The security situation has deteriorated so badly that it is impossible to provide the humanitarian aid people desperately need.

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