It is shameful that the Syrian government has denied UN Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos admission to Syria, as promised. The Under-Secretary-General should have been able to negotiate urgently needed humanitarian access for relief organizations to operate safely in the midst of desperate shortages of food, medical care and basic necessities. Rather than meeting the needs of its people, the barbaric the Syrian government is preparing its final assault on the city of Homs. Meanwhile, food shortages are reported to be so severe that people, especially children, will soon start dying of hunger. Water and electricity have been cut. Doctors, aid workers and journalists continue to be targeted. Even the Syrian Red Crescent has been prevented by Syrian forces from evacuating the injured. The Assad regime’s callous disregard for the needs of its people is not surprising, but it is reprehensible.