DAMASCUS, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- UN Resident Representative in Syria Yacoub al-Hillo on Friday welcomed civilians' evacuation from the rebel-held old city of Homs, according to a statement made to Xinhua.
"We welcome this breakthrough and hope it will set the precedent for humanitarian access to all besieged communities in Syria," said al-Hillo who oversaw the operation in the old city.
Under the mediation of the UN, 83 women, children and elderly civilians were evacuated on Friday from the city after an agreement was reached between the government and opposition groups for a ceasefire in Homs. The agreement also allows humanitarian aid to reach the besieged area on Saturday.
More civilians are expected to be evacuated within the next days as up to 2,500 people are believed to be trapped in the old city, part of which have been under government troops' siege since June 2012.
"The UN teams have pre-positioned food, medical and other basic supplies for immediate delivery as soon as the first group of civilians are out and we hope to send this aid on Saturday morning, " the statement said.
The UN and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) managed the reception center and the evacuation, as other UN groups are working along with the SARC to provide food, medical and hygiene kits, mattresses, blankets, cash assistance and logistical support to meet the immediate needs of people choosing to evacuate from the area and those who are still inside, the statement added.