Syria: ICRC steps up aid as supplies reach Hama
27-02-2012 News Footage Ref. V F CR-F-01118-C
ICRC spokesperson Carla Haddad Mardini confirms that aid has reached Hama, a town in west central Syria badly affected by the fighting, "they have food for around 12,000 people, they have blankets, hygiene kits. The food should last for one month."
The organization has not been able to return to Baba Amr in Homs since it evacuated 27 people on Friday. But negotiations with the Syrian authorities and the opposition continue, to try to get agreement to a daily halt in the fighting that would allow humanitarian assistance to be provided in safety:
The wounded western journalists and the bodies of those who died have still not been evacuated. Carla Haddad Mardini confirmed that the journalists refused to leave Homs on Friday with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), when it was able to go into the district of Baba Amr to evacuate wounded civilians.
Footage available from the ICRC Video Newsroom (www.icrcvideonewsroom.org)
TV news footage transmitted on Eurovision News 28.02.12
For more information, please contact Jan Powell, ICRC, Geneva, e-mail
INTERVIEW: CARLA HADDAD MARDINI , ICRC SPOKESPERSON
00:00 The ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) are still negotiating with the Syrian authorities and the opposition for renewed access and a renewed evacuation operation in Baba Amr in Homs. We are still waiting to see if this will yield any concrete results.
00: 16 The journalists had refused to be evacuated on Friday by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. The ICRC and the SARC are pursuing their discussions and negotiations with the Syrian authorities and members of the opposition to organize a new evacuation operation in Baba Amr, and the point is to be able to evacuate the seriously wounded, ill, those who need to be taken to the nearest medical facility. This includes women, men, children and the journalists.
00:46 Q: There was discussion that the journalists were suspicious of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent - Can you comment on this?
00:57 The ICRC has been working all along with the Syrian Arab RC volunteers . They've been working round the clock to organize life-saving activities in the different affected areas. We cannot do anything without the volunteers It’s a very important network in Syria. And they’ve been really working hard. They’ve lost their secretary general, and a volunteer in the line of duty so we need to be able to work with them. And this criticism that we are hearing here and there is making their work and our work much harder.
01:30 Today the ICRC and SARC teams have reached Hama – they have food for around 12,000 people, they have blankets, hygiene kits, the food should last for one month. We hope the distributions will be able to start very soon.
01:49 Q: What news on the humanitarian pause that the ICRC has been trying to negotiate for several days now?
02:55 This two hour humanitarian pause, which should take place on a daily basis, is vital . Until now we have not received any answer from the Syrian authorities, but this appeal for a two-hour halt in the fighting still stands. The ICRC and the SARC need to be able to evacuate people safely, and without this pause in the fighting things are very difficult on the ground.
02 21 GVs ICRC exterior, flag, etc.
For further information, please contact:
Saleh Dabbakeh, ICRC Damascus, tel: +963 993 700 847 or +963 11 331 0476
Hicham Hassan, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 2541 or +41 79 536 92 57
Carla Haddad Mardini, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 05 or +41 79 217 32 26