News / Middle East

Syrian Humanitarian Crisis Stretching UN's Response Capacity

Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), pauses during a news conference after the seventh Syrian Humanitarian Forum at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Feb. 19, 2013.
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), pauses during a news conference after the seventh Syrian Humanitarian Forum at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Feb. 19, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Larry Freund
— The chief United Nations humanitarian official says the Syrian fighting is stretching the U.N.’s ability to respond.

Valerie Amos, the U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, briefed the U.N. Security Council on the situation in Syria.  She then emerged from the closed-door meeting to tell reporters that the Syrian crisis is completely stretching the U.N.’s capacity.

“Quite frankly, the pace at which we’re able to do this is much slower than the pace at which the crisis is evolving. I am also extremely concerned by the rising costs of  this. We asked for $1.5 billion for our response for the next six months," said Amos. "Those figures are already out of date, given the projections we had at the end of last year and where we are now."

Amos said the first two months of this year have been what she called a real game-changer, and she said the scale of the humanitarian crisis is outpacing whatever is done to respond.

Another humanitarian official, Udo Janz from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said “We might be reaching a moment of reckoning in the region,” because of the impact of Syrian refugees on neighboring countries.  
Janz said since early January, every week about 40,000 Syrians have fled their country.

“We could be talking now about 400,000 refugees in both Lebanon and in Jordan. We are approaching 300,000 in Turkey and over 100,000 have already made their way to Iraq, and there are thousands of others who have made their way further beyond, into Europe and North Africa,” stated Janz.

Janz added that more than 30,000 Palestinians, once hosted by Syria, have made their way into Lebanon. We heard all the pledges. We now need to see that those pledges are honored," he noted. "The High Commissioner is operating on a shoestring ((limited budget)) compared to the needs that are in the region.”

At a conference in Kuwait on January 30, the U.N. reached its goal of $1.5 billion in aid pledges. However, U.N. humanitarian chief Amos said the U.N. has received only $200 million of the pledged money.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid