News / Middle East

UN Calls for Aid Access to Displaced Syrian Families

A general view shows damaged buildings on a deserted street in the besieged area of Homs Jul. 13, 2013.
A general view shows damaged buildings on a deserted street in the besieged area of Homs Jul. 13, 2013.
VOA News
The United Nations humanitarian chief and the head of its children's agency have called for an end to the fighting in Syria's city of Homs, as well as access by aid workers to families caught in the crisis.

The U.N. released statements Saturday by humanitarian affairs coordinator Valerie Amos and UNICEF head Anthony Lake, who said some 400,000 people in Homs are believed to be living in partially constructed schools and other public buildings.

Amos said hundreds of people have "reportedly been killed, injured or taken hostage" in attacks in Homs, as well as Aleppo and other areas of Syria in the past two days alone.

Lake said the plight of women and children is "rapidly deteriorating." He said water and electricity are still available, but supplies such as vegetables, milk and other essentials will run out within days. He called for aid workers to have "immediate safe access" to families in need of help.

On Friday, U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay called for an independent investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by Syrian rebel fighters. Pillay said a U.N. team found evidence that rebels executed at least 30 people last month in Aleppo. Most of the victims were Syrian soldiers.

Pillay said those on both sides of the war who break international humanitarian and human rights law need to be held accountable. She said rebel forces should not think they are immune from prosecution.

The U.N. says civil war for more than two years in Syria has killed more than 100,000 people and driven about 6 million from their homes. Most of the victims have been civilians.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
August 03, 2013 9:59 AM
UN has degenerated into an organization just to call for financial assistance for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP), while the UN is helpless to solve or end the problems that cause the refugees and IDP. UN has lost the credibility to end future wars. Instead of stopping wars, UN remains as a political forum smudged with bureaucracy, sending peace keepers and observers as spectators to the conflicts. The money wasted for the UN observers and the so called peace keepers can be better used for alleviating poverty in underdeveloped countries, helping refugees and IDP and for assistance in natural disasters.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid