Syria fighting hurting aid effort: UN
The UN has said its aid convoys cannot reach around 250,000 people in areas besieged by Syrian government forces or rebels, despite "growing needs and intensifying conflict".
The detailed assessment was included in a confidential paper that Valerie Amos, UN emergency relief co-ordinator, presented to a private, unannounced United Nations meeting in Geneva on Tuesday.
"The response is continuing but falling short, especially in besieged and hard-to-reach areas," said the report, obtained by Reuters news agency.
"Besieged communities continue to be cut off."
International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi announced on Monday that peace talks would be held on January 22, the first direct talks between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and
opposition forces seeking to topple him.
The UN document, entitled Humanitarian Situation and Response in Syria, painted a grim picture, saying there were 900 armed clashes in Syria in October compared with 500 in May.
It describes a "dangerous and difficult environment for humanitarian workers" and says 12 UN staff and 32 volunteers or staff of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have been killed since the conflict began in March 2011. Another 21 UN staff members remain in detention, it said, without giving details. - Reuters