Syrian fighting hampers UN aid efforts

The Syrian civil war is preventing United Nations aid convoys from reaching 250,000 Syrians living in areas besieged by the conflict.

Reuters reports that a U.N. assessment found its aid was not reaching those in need despite “growing needs and intensifying conflict.”

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The assessment comes from a confidential paper by Valerie Amos, U.N. emergency relief coordinator, who presented her findings to a private U.N. meeting in Geneva on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

"The response is continuing but falling short, especially in besieged and hard to reach areas," said the paper says. "Besieged communities continue to be cut off."

The paper described the situation in Syria as a "dangerous and difficult environment for humanitarian workers.” It says 12 U.N. staff members have been killed and 21 remain in detention in Syria, while and 32 volunteers or staff of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent were also killed.

The aid has been unable to reach people in areas controlled by both the rebels and Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

More than 120,000 people have been killed in the nearly three-year Syrian civil, according to a watchdog group, and millions have fled the country.

More than 9 million Syrians in the country need assistance, the U.N. paper said.