United Nations humanitarian relief teams must be allowed into Syria to assess the predicament of its people in the ninth month of violent unrest in which at least 4,000 people have been killed, a senior UN official said on Friday.
"I repeat my call to the Syrian government to really let us in," said Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief.
"We are concerned about the health impact of what is going on. We don't have a very clear picture across the country because we do not have the access that will enable us to know exactly what is going on," she told reporters in Stockholm.
"If, as the government say, they have nothing to hide, then I think allowing us in to see that that is the case and to do a proper assessment of what the implications of this are for the people of Syria is absolutely critical," Amos said.
She said the United Nations did not have the data to assess whether or not humanitarian corridors or buffer zones, as proposed by some concerned states, would be helpful.
"If we don't know where the needs are, where are we going to set up possible humanitarian corridors or buffer zones?"
Foreign reporters are barred from Syria except by government invitation.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday it had nearly tripled its budget for Syria for 2012. It has delivered food and health supplies in major cities, including Homs, the epicentre of the revolt against President Bashar Al-Assad and the government crackdown on pro-democracy protests.