Robert Mardini, head of operations for the Near and Middle East, travelled last week to Syria with ICRC president Peter Maurer.
The objective of the three-day visit was to get a sense of the humanitarian reality on the ground, to meet with ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent colleagues and to meet with the highest levels of the Syrian government. In his talks with Syrian authorities, President Maurer pressed for greater access to persons affected by the conflict, including detainees.
Mr. Mardini speaks about an alarming humanitarian situation in and around Damascus, particularly with regards to health care. He explains that the commitments made by the Syrian government at its highest level to better facilitate our work and access will now need to rapidly translate into concrete actions.