Senior United Nations officials have voiced concern over the failure to meet targets in the delivery of humanitarian aid to the besieged areas of Syria, though they have hope for a breakthrough in negotiations to restart peace talks.
Only 40 percent of the aid planned for areas in Syria was delivered in June and July, the head of a UN-backed humanitarian taskforce for Syria said on Thursday in Geneva.
There is “fighting in too many places, and that affects the besieged towns more than anything else,” humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland said, adding that the UN failed to reach its goal of helping 1.2 million Syrians during the two-month period.
The UN has in recent days pinned hopes on efforts by Moscow and Washington to restore a ceasefire in Syria as fighting intensifies.
Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, the UN deputy envoy for Syria, said US-Russian negotiations were ongoing and that the UN remained “committed” to relaunching peace talks in late August.
“There is still time, we cannot give up hope. Bear with us and I think in next few days there might be some movement” towards holding “credible talks,” Ramzy told reporters in Geneva.
“We need to do something about Aleppo and very quickly. There is still a chance for that in the next days.”
After cutting off the last remaining rebel supply route to the eastern half of the city, government forces have reportedly begun retaking rebel-controlled parts.
Approximately 300,000 civilians are trapped inside the besieged city, according to the UN.
“We are in intensive discussions with the Russian Federation and the government of Syria to ensure that the civilian population in Aleppo is protected and that standards of international humanitarian law are respected in any operation of humanitarian assistance,” Ramzy said.
“We continue to believe that no one has an interest in further escalating the military situation in Aleppo in a way that would impede humanitarian aid and also impede chances of political settlement,” he added.