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300 Syrians evacuated from old city of Homs

February 10, 2014, 20:57 UTC+3 BEIRUT
Under the truce agreement between the rebels and the Syrian government, about a thousand children, women and elderly people were taken out of the city over the past three days
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© EPA/STR

BEIRUT, February 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Three hundred Syrians were evacuated from the rebel-held old city of Homs on Monday, February 10, local personnel of the Red Crescent Society said.

Under the truce agreement between the rebels and the Syrian government, about a thousand children, women and elderly people were taken out of the city over the past three days.

The latest operations in Homs have taken vital relief supplies into the city with the support of International Organization for Migration, UNICEF, World Food Program, and the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. In addition 80 people were evacuated from the city under the protection of the Red Crescent. An aid convoy loaded with 250 food parcels, medicines for chronic diseases, 190 hygiene kits, 30 boxes of water purification materials, box of peanut butter and 500 floor bags made it into the old city of Homs on February 8, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) said.

“Given the extremely difficult conditions prevailing in Syria today - especially in towns like Homs - it is absolutely vital for all parties to the conflict to facilitate the work of all humanitarian and healthcare personnel,” Abdul Rahman al-Attar, president of SARC, said. “They must respect the Red Crescent and Red Cross emblems displayed on tents, buildings, vehicles and clothing and spare those bearing them.”

Relief workers and convoys were fire upon in Syria on Saturday, February 8, despite the truce agreement.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos expressed deep disappointment at the fact that a three-day humanitarian pause agreed between the parties to the Syrian conflict had been broken and aid workers had been deliberately targeted as they tried to deliver food and medicine to Homs.

She extended sympathies to people who were injured in fighting and commended the courage and tenacity of the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator and other U.N. and Red Crescent aid workers who entered the Old City of Homs to try and deliver critical aid.

Amos, who is also UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, noted that the latest attacks were a “stark reminder” of the dangers that civilians and aid workers face every day across Syria, where three years of fighting between pro- and anti-Government forces have left an estimated 9.3 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

She urged “those engaged in this brutal conflict to respect the humanitarian pause, ensure the protection of civilians and facilitate the safe delivery of aid.”

Amos stressed that “the United Nations and our humanitarian partners will not be deterred from doing the best we can to bring aid to those needing our help.

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