News / Middle East

UN: Syria 'Dramatically Deteriorating'

This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows a Syrian man helping an injured man at the scene after a blast in Damascus, Syria, November 5, 2012. This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows a Syrian man helping an injured man at the scene after a blast in Damascus, Syria, November 5, 2012.
x
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows a Syrian man helping an injured man at the scene after a blast in Damascus, Syria, November 5, 2012.
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA shows a Syrian man helping an injured man at the scene after a blast in Damascus, Syria, November 5, 2012.
Lisa Schlein
The United Nations says the huge upsurge in the number of civilians fleeing Syria reflects the dramatically deteriorating situation in that country. Aid officials estimate that 2.5 million civilians still inside Syria need humanitarian assistance.  

U.N. officials attending the Syrian Humanitarian Forum say civilians are paying the price of displacement, both inside and outside the country, as Syria’s 18-month-long civil war continues to escalate with no end in sight.  

In the past 24 hours alone, the U.N. refugee agency reports more than 11,000 Syrian refugees fled to neighboring countries - about 9,000 to Turkey,1.000 to Jordan and 1,000 to Lebanon.  

UNHCR Regional Refugee Coordinator Panos Moumtzis says this brings the total number of registered refugees in the region to over 408,000. Newly arrived refugees tell aid workers they fled because civilians in Syria have little or no protection.

“We are very concerned about the fact that many of the refugees, 75 percent of whom are women and children, what they tell us is really of great concern. Stories of insecurity, of increased violence, of feeling their lives being under threat, of having no other choice than to flee, to escape, bringing with them nothing but the clothes they are wearing," said Moumtzis.

Moumtzis says he expects there could be up to 700,000 Syrian refugees needing assistance outside their homeland by early next year. He says the UNHCR does not have the money it needs to provide food, shelter and water for displaced Syrians, as well as psychosocial assistance and other aid. The refugee coordinator says his agency has received only 35 percent of the $487 million it needs to support relief operations through December.

Lack of donor support was a recurring theme throughout the meeting.  The U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, Radhouane Nouicer, says U.N. humanitarian operations inside Syria are less than half funded.

As a conservative estimate, Nouicer estimates that humanitarian assistance should be flowing to 2.5 million people in Syria - about half of whom already have been forced to leave their homes. He cautions that things keep changing as the violence escalates, and the numbers keep growing.
 
He adds that it is difficult to keep an accurate count of those who need help:

“They move to a place today because they believe it is safe. Tomorrow it becomes a firing line. They go back to their area of origin, or they move to a third place where they feel safer. So it is extremely difficult under the circumstances to have an exact determination of the figures," said Nouicer.

Nouicer says the Syrian government is showing a more flexible attitude regarding the work and movement of U.N. agencies and other humanitarian groups, yet U.N. workers' access to some areas is still a huge problem due to insecurity. He says the warring parties do not respect the neutrality and impartiality of aid workers, and too often impede their work.

The humanitarian coordinator says Syrians both inside and outside the country will face an extremely harsh winter unless governments come up quickly with the money needed to provide relief to the population.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Claudia from: France
November 09, 2012 5:46 PM
UN: Syria 'Dramatically Deteriorating' ... we have been hearing that for the past 20 months... hey, UN, Jordan is about to implode... Iran is going nuclear... Egypt is going radical... Britain is Islamitized... France can't deal with their growing Islamic population... why can't you tell us who the real enemy of humanity is...???

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid