Red Cross chief will request Assad's help with Syria's humanitarian crisis
The Red Cross head is traveling to Syria to request that President Bashar al-Assad make it easier for humanitarian workers to reach civilians facing deteriorating living conditions.
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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has 50 foreign and Syrian aid workers in Syria, but all have been confined to Damascus since late July due to heavy fighting in what it has said has become an internal armed conflict, or civil war in layman's terms.Skip to next paragraph
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The agency was not able to send out any aid convoys for more than two weeks, but did manage late last week to send some food rations and other relief supplies to rural Damascus and Homs for distribution by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the ICRC said.
Maurer, a former senior Swiss diplomat, will meet Assad and senior officials in Damascus during the three-day trip, the statement said.
"Talks will mainly tackle the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation and the difficulties faced by the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent as they attempt to reach people affected by the armed conflict," it said.
Living conditions worsening
Syrian civilians' living conditions are worsening dramatically, as it becomes harder to obtain food and escape fighting which caused a record death toll of 1,600 last week, aid agencies said on Friday.
Tens of thousands have been forced to flee fighting in recent weeks and increasing numbers of wounded are dying for lack of medical care or supplies, the ICRC said.
A car bomb exploded in a district on the edge of the capital Damascus on Monday, causing casualties including women and children, state media and opposition campaigners said.