Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the World Food Program, speaks with a Reuters correspondent during an interview in Beirut January 9, 2014.(REUTERS/Caren Firouz)
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The United Nations World Food Program has pressed the Syrian government to increase access to besieged residents in Damascus and Aleppo, its chief said, while in eastern Syria a surge of fighting has made regions there more difficult to reach.WFP head Ertharin Cousin said late Thursday that the U.N. food agency aims to raise its target population in Syria to around 4.9 million in 2014, as the conflict between President Bashar Assad and the rebels seeking to oust him goes into its third year. Over the past year, some rebel-held suburbs outside Damascus were under siege by Assad's forces, leaving residents struggling to find food.Last month, the WFP said it flew 12 shipments of food from the Iraqi Kurdish city of Irbil into Hassakeh province.
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