UNITED NATIONS, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Red Crescent jointly delivered food and emergency items to 25,000 Syrian people in rural Damascus, the first convoy to the area since June 2016, a UN spokesman said here Tuesday.
"Today, a UN-International Committee of the Red Cross-Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoy is delivering food and emergency items to 25,000 people in need in Bludan in rural Damascus," Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesman, said at a daily news briefing here. "The last interagency convoy to that area was in June last year."
There is also a UN-Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoy delivering assistance for 84,000 people in Talbiseh, in Homs, a location that was last reached on Feb. 5, he said.
"We continue to call for safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to all those in need in Syria, particularly the close to 5 million people in hard-to-reach and besieged areas," Haq added.
The current Syrian crisis, which broke out in March 2011, has taken its toll on the humanitarian situation in the Middle East country, which has progressively deteriorated over the past six years.
More than half of Syria's population -- over 11 million people -- has been displaced, making it one of the largest mass displacements since World War II. Of these, 6.3 million people are now internally displaced within Syria, while more than 4.8 million are registered refugees in neighboring countries, such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, and North Africa.