BEIRUT - The World Health Organization (WHO) has been unable to get a desperately needed medical aid convoy through to civilians in the rebel-held part of Aleppo despite a government promise last month to give it access.
"Delays often happen due to operational and/or security reasons but details are not to be shared," WHO spokesman Tarik Jaarevi said in an email on Tuesday.In a statement this week, the WHO said 240,000 medical treatments from it and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent were being held in a warehouse in the government-held part of the city, Syria's biggest, "for further distribution to the targeted areas, which will begin shortly".
On Dec. 22, the WHO said it had received a promise to be allowed to deliver aid to rebel-held parts of Aleppo, which it planned to transport within the week, and also to the besieged districts of Mouadamiya, in Damascus, and Eastern Ghouta, outside the capital.
The non-governmental Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organizations, made up of Syrian doctors, says cholera, typhoid, scabies and tuberculosis are spreading among the 360,000 people in rebel-held Aleppo for lack of treatments or vaccines. The area is cut off on three sides by the Syrian army.
All sides in Syria's three-year civil war have prevented medical supplies crossing front lines, fearing they could be used to help wounded enemy fighters.