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

    Russia's Expat Community Shrinking

    Russia's troubled economy, tensions with West have led hundreds of thousands of foreigners to leave for better opportunities

    Accelerating the Push Against Islamic State: What Will Work?

    Experts stress need to step up military action, address root causes of Muslims' disaffection, counter IS social media messages in a massive way

    Experts: N. Korean Abductions Sought to Halt Brain Drain

    Pyongyang abducted about 3,800 South Koreans and more than a dozen Japanese nationals in late 1970s

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees with Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees with Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.