The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross says the need for humanitarian assistance is increasing in Syria.

Peter Maurer tells The Associated Press that humanitarian actors, including ICRC, must be given access to vulnerable populations.

Maurer spoke Thursday in the Syrian capital Damascus after returning from the central city of Homs where he visited the neighborhood of Waer where a cease fire was recently reached.

Speaking about Waer residents, Maurer said: "Sometimes they get access to some food, to some water, to some medical services, and sometimes for weeks they don't."

The United Nations says there are nearly half a million people in besieged areas and an estimated 4.5 million Syrians are in a separate category called "hard to reach."