Syria accepts Jordanian Ali al-Zaatari as new UN aid envoy
DAMASCUS - Syria on Wednesday accepted the accreditation of Jordanian national Ali al-Zaatari as the new UN envoy tasked with overseeing the struggling humanitarian effort in the war-torn country.
Zaatari arrived in Damascus at the weekend and formally began work on Tuesday as the UN's new humanitarian relief coordinator in Syria, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
The former UN deputy envoy for Libya and for Sudan has also worked in Syria as the UN Development Programme's resident representative from 2004 to 2007.
Zaatari will replace Yacoub el Hillo of Sudan, who was the aid coordinator since 2013 and who was recently appointed to be UN deputy envoy to Liberia.
At least 13.5 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid including six million children, according to UN estimates.
The huge UN aid effort has been struggling to reach 5.5 million people living in hard-to-reach areas, including nearly 600,000 Syrians living under siege in the war, now in its sixth year.