An image shows Red Cross workers making a visit to injured people in Houla, Homs province, Syria, 25 May 2012. EPA Photo
Syria is refusing to grant visas to Western aid workers but the United Nations is trying to overcome its objections so as to expand its humanitarian operation in the face of growing needs, a senior U.N. aid official said on today.
"We have a number of visas pending for international staff from a number of Western countries - the United States, Canada, the U.K., France and one or two more - that are refused their visas because of their nationalities," John Ging told reporters in Geneva. "That is something we object to very strongly and are working with the Syrian government to overcome."
Syria's wheat harvest is estimated at 2.3 million tonnes this year, down from 3 million tonnes last year, he said, citing the result of a survey carried out by U.N. agencies.