Convoys carrying food and medical aid are due to leave Wednesday for besieged areas in Syria where thousands of people have had their access to supplies cut by both government forces and opposition fighters.
The aid deliveries are part of an agreement between Syria and the United Nations.They are being sent to seven areas, including Madaya and Zabadani near the capital, and Foua and Kefraya in northern Idlib province.
U.N. envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said Tuesday after meetings in Damascus that the deliveries are a test of the government’s commitment to allow the United Nations to bring humanitarian aid and reach the Syrian people.
A convoy of humanitarian aid waits in front of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) offices before making their way into the government besieged rebel-held towns of Madaya, al-Zabadani and al-Moadhamiya in the Damascus countryside, as part of a U.N.-sponsored aid operation, in Damascus, Syria, Feb. 17, 2016.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry shot back at those comments on Wednesday, saying it does not wait for anyone to give a reminder of its duties to its people.
The United Nations has repeatedly called for all parties in the five-year-old Syrian conflict to allow unhindered humanitarian access.
The U.N.’s humanitarian office says 13.5 million Syrians need assistance, while another 4.6 million Syrian refugees have fled the country since the violence began in March 2011.