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Red Cross to increase humanitarian aid to Syria

June 17, 2013, 14:53 UTC+3

ICRC specialists will be able to visit such cities as Homs, Aleppo, Hama and Idlib

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MOSCOW, June 17 (Itar-Tass) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will increase humanitarian aid to Syria up to 190 million U.S. dollars shortly, said Robert Mardini, the ICRC head of operations for the Near and Middle East.

Speaking at an international conference devoted to the situation in the Middle East, Mardini said four million of displaced persons stayed in Syria.

At least 1.2 million people were forced to run adjacent countries, Mardini said.

The priority task is to improve living standards, supply drinking water and remove rubbish, the ICRC official said, adding that every month the ICRC would supply foodstuffs to 450,000 people and essentials to 112,000 people.

As of June 2013 the ICRC provided assistance to millions of civilians in Syria. In the past months the Committee has gotten access to the areas, which were mostly hit by the clashes, he said.

In general, humanitarian aid is insufficient. The lack of security, bureaucracy and restrictions from the military authorities hamper its supply, Mardini said.

The ICRC intends to render more active support for healthcare and train medical staff in order to improve their professionalism, he noted. The latest months proved that the dialogue between the authorities and the opposition yielded fruit, Mardini stressed.

In his words, the ICRC specialists will be able to visit such cities as Homs, Aleppo, Hama and Idlib.

The ICRC also rendered assistance to refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, Mardini said.

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