UN chief sending humanitarian official to Syria

February 22, 2012 - 5:25 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N. spokesman says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is dispatching his top humanitarian official to Syria.

U.N. deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey told reporters Wednesday that Ban wants Valerie Amos, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, to survey the situation there and renew the call for urgent access of aid.

Ban is in London, where he will discuss the appointment of a special envoy to Syria with the Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby.

Del Buey says no dates have been set for Amos' trip.

The U.N. says more than 5,400 people have been killed in repression by President Bashar Assad's regime in an uprising that began 11 months ago. Syrian activists put the death toll at more than 7,300.