STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

13 million Syrians need aid despite violence drop: United Nations

The UN said 40 percent of the needy were children, adding that people in besieged or so-called "hard-to-reach" areas were particularly vulnerable.

Published: 21st November 2017 08:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st November 2017 08:13 PM   |  A+A-

Syrians reach out for Russian food aid in government-controlled Jibreen area in Aleppo, Syria November 30, 2016 | Reuters

By AFP

BEIRUT: More than 13 million Syrians are in need of aid despite a relative drop in violence in their war-torn country in recent months, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Upwards of 330,000 people have been killed since Syria's conflict erupted in March 2011 with anti-government protests, and the violence has displaced over half the population, both internally and abroad, as refugees.

"Entering the seventh year of the crisis, the scale, severity and complexity of needs across Syria remain overwhelming," the report by the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

"Some 13.1 million people in Syria require humanitarian assistance. Of these, 5.6 million people are in acute need," OCHA added.

The figure represents a slight drop, from 13.5 million people in need in 2016, according to the UN.

Earlier this year, government allies Russia and Iran and rebel backer Turkey signed a deal to set up four so-called "de-escalation zones" in Syria.

The zones have brought a relative drop in violence across the country, though there has been an uptick in clashes and strikes in recent weeks in the Eastern Ghouta region near Damascus.

The implementation of the zones has also done little to increase humanitarian access, despite repeated calls from UN officials and others for sustained access to people in need.

The UN said 40 percent of the needy were children, adding that people in besieged or so-called "hard-to-reach" areas were particularly vulnerable.

While the report noted there "has been a reduction in violence in some areas", it added that the impact of the truce zones "has been mixed" for civilians.

It also warned that up to 1.5 million Syrians could be newly displaced over the course of the coming year, though it also expected to see up to a million existing internally displaced Syrians return home.

The report predicted ongoing fighting in certain areas, including Idlib province in northwest Syria where a de-escalation zone is currently in place.

Idlib province is dominated by a former Al-Qaeda affiliate, and observers expect the area to eventually be attacked by either Syria's government or outside forces.

The UN also saw little respite in sight for Eastern Ghouta, another truce zone, where violence has escalated despite the "de-escalation" deal.

The rebel-held area has been under government siege since 2013, with food and medical shortages leading to a malnutrition crisis and deaths.

"Civilians in UN-declared besieged areas, particularly in East Ghouta, are likely to remain deprived of sustained humanitarian assistance and have limited access to basic commodities and services," the report warned.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp