Doubts cloud prospect of aid access, peace process in Syria

A boy looks on as a member of the Free Syrian Army stands guard in a neigborhood in Damascus, Syria. The international community waits for the Syrian government to honor its agreement to heed a peace plan that proposes wide aid access and daily human cease-fire. Photo by: Freedom House / CC BY

Will much-needed aid finally reach Syrians affected by the yearlong uprising in the country?

It remains to be seen as the international community waits for the Syrian government to honor its agreement to heed a peace plan that proposes wider aid access and a daily humanitarian cease-fire.

Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross said it has struck a deal with the Syrian government to expand its presence in the country. Syria and ICRC also discussed how to carry out the daily humanitarian cease-fire requested by the aid group, according to a Red Cross statement.

Some Western governments, however, are wary of Syria’s promises, particularly its pledge to roll out the U.N.-backed peace plan. The distrust is fueled by Syria’s record of broken pledges and a recent escalation in assaults on opposition strongholds,The Associated Press says.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said the government, in compliance with the U.N. peace plan, has recalled some army units from a few areas and released several detainees, according to the BBC. But reports say government forces continue shelling the besieged city of Homs even as the deadline to withdraw all troops and weapons came into effect.

Meanwhile, some donors have pledged aid for Syrians within the country and those living as refugees in nearby states. The Swedish Agency for International Cooperation and Development, for one, has pledged 30 million kronor ($4.4 million) for Save the Children Sweden, Islamic Relief and different U.N. entities working with Syrian refugees.

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About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.