2 March 2012
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society were not allowed to enter the Baba Amr district of Homs on 2 March. The Syrian authorities had authorised the joint team to enter Baba Amr to respond to the humanitarian needs of the people there.
The ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent teams have been in Homs since this morning, waiting to enter the district.
"It is unacceptable that people who have been in need of emergency assistance for weeks have still not received any help," said ICRC president Jakob Kellenberger. "We are staying in Homs tonight in the hope of entering Baba Amr in the very near future. In addition, many families have fled Baba Amr, and we will help them as soon as we possibly can."
"We reiterate the appeal we made several days ago, for a daily two-hour halt in the fighting to allow humanitarian assistance," added Mr Kellenberger. "The humanitarian situation was very serious then and it is worse now."
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is continuing its work in other parts of Syria.
Original story 11:00
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Syrian Arab Red Crescent are today set to enter the Baba Amr area of Homs, to evacuate the wounded, and deliver food and medical supplies.
Baba Amr has been a focus of fighting in recent weeks, and the ICRC has only been able to enter the area twice in the last seven days.
The fighting is now thought to have died down, but many people in Baba Amr remain without power and are running low on basic supplies. It is also feared there could be many people seriously wounded.
Help is on its way
Despite being slowed by heavy snow, a convoy of seven ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent aid lorries are now on their way to Homs, carrying food, medicines, blankets, milk for babies and other equipment.
Sean Maguire, ICRC spokesman, said: "If the fighting has truly died down, in theory there should be no obstacle to us going in there and staying there on a day-to-day basis.
"Our colleagues from the Syrian Red Crescent have been distributing food and assistance in other areas of Homs on a daily basis, and we hope to be able to do the same in Baba Amr."
Aid and medical care
As well as working to deliver aid and evacuate the wounded in Homs, the ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent have been bringing food parcels, blankets and hygiene items for thousands of people to Hama, Idlib, Dara'a, Bludan, Madaya and Buqqin.
In Al-Zabadani and Bludan, the ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent have also been setting up a first-aid and medical posts to provide care to sick and injured people.
The British Red Cross has been supporting people in Syria since the start of this crisis. On 1 March 2012, it launched an appeal in response to growing humanitarian needs in the country, supporting the Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s work.
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The situation in Syria is fast-moving. For all the latest updates follow @BritishRedCross or @icrc_english on Twitter.