Reuters International

A man rides a bicycle past a damaged building in Daraya, near Damascus February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Omar Abu Bakr

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GENEVA (Reuters) - The humanitarian situation is "extremely dire" in the Syrian town of Daraya, besieged by the government, amid severe shortages of food and medicines, the United Nations aid chief said on Tuesday, following an U.N. assessment mission last week.

Syrian authorities have not responded to "countless requests" for permission to deliver relief supplies to the town of 4,000, southwest of Damascus, U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien told a news briefing in Geneva.

"We will continue to press the Syrian authorities relentlessly for us to have that safe unimpeded access to Daraya," he said.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Shadia Nasralla)

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