20:45 GMT21 June 2021
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    The UN and the WHO on Monday urged Syrian warring parties to provide access to thousands of civilians in besieged areas.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday urged warring parties in Syria to provide immediate and unconditional access to thousands of civilians in besieged and hard-to-reach areas.

    "While efforts to fully implement a ceasefire in Syria continue, we again appeal for immediate, unconditional, and safe access to reach the children and families," their joint statement read.

    The message, signed by the UN’s World Food Programme, the UN children’s agency UNICEF, UN Humanitarian aid director Stephen O’Brien, UN refugees commissioner Filippo Grandi and WHO chief Margaret Chan, called on the Syrian government and militants to avoid the crisis in Aleppo from repeating elsewhere.

    "We – indeed, the world – must not stand silent while parties to the conflict continue to use denial of food, water, medical supplies, and other forms of aid as weapons of war," they stressed.

    The UN estimates 700,000 people, including 300,000 children, are trapped in 15 besieged zones across the country, with nearly five million civilians living in areas that are hard to reach due to fighting and restricted access.

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