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.
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 "Those figures are already out of date, given the projections we had at the end of last year and where we are now."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

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid