“In recent days the situation in Al Waer has worsened, with reports of intense daily clashes, and rocket and mortar strikes causing many casualties.

“UNICEF has been aiding partners to distribute nutrition and basic hygiene supplies while striving to maintain sufficient water for the innocent people caught up in the fighting, the majority of whom are women and children. But new checkpoints are preventing more supplies from entering the area. Water and electricity is still available for now but vegetables, milk and other essentials are in increasingly short supply. Our own emergency supplies will run out within days.

“We call on all parties to facilitate immediate safe access to these families so we can provide life-saving assistance, and to allow those families currently trapped in Al Waer who wish to leave to do so in safety and in dignity.

“Cannot all those involved agree that the innocent women and children in Homs, and across Syria, should be spared all possible suffering?”

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For more information, please contact:

Georgina Thompson, UNICEF UK, georginat@unicef.org.uk  + 44 (0)20 7375 6030