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

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video 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

    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.
    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