Despite some pockets of success, aid workers are still finding it difficult to deliver much-needed humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by monthslong violence in Syria.
Last week, the International Committee of the Red Cross was able to deliver food, medical and hygiene items to trapped civilians in two neighborhoods in the old city of Homs. Maurer met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in September to discuss ways to improve aid distribution to civilians. While ICRC has been able to deliver humanitarian assistance to various neighborhoods in Homs, the Nov. 3 delivery was the first time aid reached the old city.
But there remain areas that have been out of humanitarian organizations’ reach, where no on-the-ground reports are available and no aid has been delivered, ICRC President Peter Maurer said to news agencies in Geneva.
Conditions in Syria have been worsening, and aid agencies fear the onset of winter might exacerbate the humanitarian situation there.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron pledged fresh funds to help tens of thousands of families cope with the coming winter season. While visiting a refugee camp in Jordan, Cameron said his government will be providing an aid package worth 9.5 million pounds ($15 million), which will include blankets for 30,000 families, food for 71,000 individuals, and emergency food supplies and assistance to Palestinian refugees in Syria.
The United Kingdom will also be delivering 4.5 million pounds worth of aid to Syrian refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and other neighboring countries.
Germany has also announced additional support via fresh contributions to the U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund. The country’s €12 million ($15.3 million) supplemental funding will help the United Nations prepare refugee camps for winter, and provide food, medicines and warm clothing.
As of Nov. 9, funds committed by donors to Syria cover 48.9 percent of the $348 million appeal, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs’ Financial Tracking Service.
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