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

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs