WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin Demands Safe Access to Vulnerable Civilians in All Communities Inside Syria

Published February 10, 2014

ROME – Ertharin Cousin, the Executive Director of the U.N. World Food Programme, issued a statement earlier today call on safe access to vulnerable communities in Syria. Below are her full remarks.

“The last few days have been agonizing for people in the Old City of Homs and the humanitarian aid workers who have risked their lives to get food, medical supplies and other essentials into the City after more than 600 days of besiegement.


This is a humanitarian operation to help civilians trapped in the Old City. All sides to the conflict need to guarantee the safety of aid workers trying to help innocent victims.


Hundreds of women, children, the sick and elderly people have been evacuated after suffering for nearly two years and barely surviving. We acknowledge this is a step toward easing the siege.  But one-off convoys into besieged areas offer only a minimum of relief.  WFP demands continuous and sustainable access to provide food and to monitor and assess needs.


The old city of Homs is just one of 40 besieged communities in Syria. Altogether a quarter of a million people have been cut off from humanitarian aid for months.


Our teams and our partners strive every day to feed close to 4.25 million people across Syria. We need full access to people in need. And we urgently need funding to help them in what is WFP’s largest, most complex and costly global emergency.”

#                     #                      #