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The Mideast

UN envoy cites 'significant' humanitarian needs in Syria

A top U.N. Mideast envoy says a humanitarian assessment mission led by the Syrian government to Homs, Hama, Daraa and other cities at the center of the country's uprising has found "significant needs."

Robert Serry, the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, told the Security Council Tuesday that the March 18-26 assessment "falls short of the U.N. request for unimpeded access for humanitarian organizations."

But Serry said U.N. participation "has allowed the gathering of critical information which confirms that there are significant needs for medical and food assistance, as well as education and nonfood items."

Syria said Tuesday it accepted a six-point plan by Kofi Annan, the U.N.-Arab League envoy, which includes a daily two-hour humanitarian pause and unimpeded access.