The UK aid agency, Cafod has urged all sides of the Syria conflict to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to those trapped in east Aleppo.
Alan Thomlinson, Cafod’s Syria crisis programme manager, said: “Humanitarian access to vulnerable people is absolutely vital, there must be safe, unrestricted passage of aid to all parts of Syria.”
Cafod has also appealed to the international community to do more to help put an end to the Syria crisis.
Thomlinson added: “The international community cannot remain paralysed by the horrors of the Syria conflict, we must take urgent steps to restore a ceasefire, end attacks on civilians and resume peace talks. If we act now we can keep hope alive for the Syrian people.”
Following the release of the Cafod statement, the UN appealed for a 48 hour ceasefire to be implemented in the city so that aid can be delivered to the two million people trapped there as the fighting between President Assad’s troops and rebel forces shows no sign of slowing down.
The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, praised the aid workers trying to reach the city but said that they are “brave, not suicidal” and will be unable to enter the area until a ceasefire is implemented.
Cafod reports that the citizens of east Aleppo have been completely isolated from the outside world since the beginning of July. Food, water and health services are vastly limited and running low.
Aleppo has been a frontline for battle since 2012 because of a large presence of rebel forces in the city. A recent siege by the Assad regime has made living conditions worse. The city is regularly hit with airstrikes and heavy shelling. A UN report suggests that there are only 30 doctors left in the city and over 120,000 children are in need of nutrition.
Cafod has said that the conflict in Syria is the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis. Over 250,000 people have died in the conflict since 2011 and 13.5 million of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance across the country.