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 "Those figures are already out of date, given the projections we had at the end of last year and where we are now."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

    Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora