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UN Syria envoy alarmed at lack of humanitarian access

The UN special envoy for Syria on Tuesday issued a warning regarding the lack of humanitarian access in the conflict-ridden country during the month of January.

Out of 21 requests for convoys to access a total of 914,000 people, only one convoy was delivered for 40,000 people in the country, according to the office of the UN special envoy for Syria.

"January marked the worst month since March 2016 and there is an urgent need to move on with the other convoys as there are areas that did not receive any humanitarian aid for more than 100 days," the office of the UN special envoy for Syria said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Madaya, Zabadani, Foha and Kefraya are out of food and despite being able to evacuate 13 medical cases since 20 January, there are still critical cases in Madaya and Zabadani that require immediate medical attention," the statement said.

The UN special envoy Staffan De Mistura called for "unconditional, unimpeded and sustained access" to all 4.72 million people in hard-to-reach locations across Syria, including the more than 600,000 in besieged locations.

"There is a grave concern that since 14 January an estimated 1.8 million people in Aleppo city and rural eastern Aleppo have been cut off from their main source of water, which is under ISIL [Daesh] control," it said.

On Monday, the delegations of Russia, Turkey and Iran, and the UN representatives held the first meeting of the joint group in Astana, which was established in accordance with the conclusions of the International Meeting on Syria held in Astana on 23-24 January.

The new round of Syria peace talks between the regime and opposition in Geneva are expected to begin on 20 February.

One month ago, a cease-fire deal brokered by Turkey and Russia went into effect throughout war-torn Syria.

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International OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsSyriaUN
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