Speaking to reporters in Geneva on Thursday, UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said there “are plenty of civilians at the moment in danger of starvation” in Syria, where more than 400,000 are trapped in areas besieged by the government or armed groups across the country.
The UN also estimates that upwards of four million people are trapped in “hard-to-reach” areas.
Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council and special advisor to the UN envoy, told reporters plans to reach a million Syrians with humanitarian assistance have fallen short.
“Of the one million people that we have planned and have tried to reach by land in May, we’ve only so far reached 160,000,” he said.
“Even in areas where we had full approval from the government, there have been infinite problems in actually reaching the places, and in others where we had conditional approvals, like Daraya, we haven’t been able to reach the people at all.”
Daraya and Moadamiyah near Damascus and al-Waer in Homs were the three places where the situation was “horrendously critical”, he said.
“Children are so malnourished in these places that they will be dying if we’re not able to reach them.”