The UN has called for an urgent ceasefire in the Syrian city of Aleppo, where it said two million people lacked access to clean running water, with children most at risk of disease.
Access is needed to deliver food and medical supplies and for technicians to repair electricity networks that drive water pumping stations.
“The UN is extremely concerned that the consequences will be dire for millions of civilians if the electricity and water networks are not immediately repaired,” it said in a statement.
The statement was signed by Yacoub El Hillo, UN resident and humanitarian co-ordinator for Syria, and Kevin Kennedy, UN regional humanitarian co-ordinator for the Syria crisis.
An estimated 250,000-275,000 people are trapped in eastern Aleppo following the closure of Castello road last month.
Insurgents broke a month-long government siege of eastern Aleppo on Saturday.
Their advance severed the primary government supply corridor running into the city from the south and raised the prospect that government-held western Aleppo might in turn become besieged by the insurgents.
This brought the number of civilians in the city under “de facto fear of besiegement to over 2m”, the UN said.
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