Russia allowing new access to besieged Syrians, says UN food agency chief


The Canadian Press

OTTAWA: The head of the United Nations World Food Program says she appreciates Russia’s assistance in helping it reach hungry, besieged parts of Syria in recent days.

Ertharin Cousin, the WFP’s executive director, tells The Canadian Press that Russia’s deal with the United States to cease hostilities in Syria has resulted in more food reaching hungry people in the cities of Modamiyeh and Deir el-Zour.

The U.S. and Russia have agreed to cease hostilities in Syria at midnight tonight in what many see as the best prospect for ending its five-year-old civil war that has left 250,000 people dead and forced 11 million to flee their homes.

Cousin says she hopes the current Russia-U.S. deal leads to a long-term ceasefire that will end the misery for Syria’s innocent civilians.

Cousin is in Ottawa for talks with the new Trudeau government to preserve the continuation of what she says has been the steadfast support of past Canadian governments for her agency.

She also says that the Liberal government’s commitment to the environment will ultimately help the program feed more people in climate-affected areas.


© 2016 The Canadian Press