UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations' aid chief appealed to Syrian President Bashar Assad on Wednesday to put his country's people first after the warring parties in the three-year conflict ignored UN Security Council demands for greater humanitarian access.
About 9.3 million people in Syria need help, and 2.5 million have fled, according to the United Nations. Aid chief Valerie Amos told a news conference that some 241,000 people were still trapped in areas besieged mostly by government forces.
As Assad's re-election for a third term with almost 89 percent of the vote was announced on Wednesday, Amos said: "If I were able to speak to him right now, I would say 'Put the people of Syria first.'"
"If you put the people of Syria first, then I think the rest falls from that in terms of our ability to make sure people are properly fed, that they have enough water, that they have proper sanitation, that they have healthcare," Amos said.
Amos said a Security Council resolution adopted in February aimed at obtaining greater aid access had failed. It was legally binding but not under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which would have made it enforceable with military action or economic sanctions.