News / Middle East

UN: Syrian People 'Suffering Grievously'

Injured Syrians arrive at a field hospital after an air strike hit their homes in the town of Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Aug. 15, 2012.Injured Syrians arrive at a field hospital after an air strike hit their homes in the town of Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Aug. 15, 2012.
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Injured Syrians arrive at a field hospital after an air strike hit their homes in the town of Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Aug. 15, 2012.
Injured Syrians arrive at a field hospital after an air strike hit their homes in the town of Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Aug. 15, 2012.
Larry Freund
NEW YORK — A top United Nations official said Wednesday that the Syrian people are "suffering grievously" from what he described as the “appalling further militarization” of the conflict in that country.

In a report to the United Nations Security Council, the U.N. Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, said the Syrian government and the opposition are focusing on military operations, with government forces using heavy weapons on population centers.

We view the rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation with growing alarm. About 2.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, while the number of displaced [people] in Syria and the refugee flows to neighboring countries is growing," he said.

The U.N. emergency relief coordinator, Valerie Amos, told reporters that the most urgent needs in Syria are for health care, shelter, food, water and sanitation. Amos, who was in Syria last week, said the humanitarian situation there has worsened since her visit there in March. She said the United Nations is providing food to hundreds of thousands of Syrians, along with hygiene kits, blankets and other basic items.
But, she added, it is not enough.

Not when we’re dealing with the needs of an estimated 2.5 million people. We face problems with access to people in need, particularly where there is intense and ongoing fighting. But funding is also holding us back. If we had more resources, we could reach more people," she said.

The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to hold a ministerial-level meeting next week that is expected to focus on the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Amos said she hopes the council will be unified in asking the Syrian government to continue to open humanitarian access and will make it clear to the government and the opposition that civilians should be protected. She said the Syrian government is now very reluctant to allow large international humanitarian groups to work in Syria.

Meanwhile, in his report to the Security Council, U.N. Under Secretary-General Feltman warned that as the crisis in Syria continues to worsen, the situation in Lebanon has become more precarious.

Feltman said the need for continued international support to the Lebanese government and the Lebanese Armed Forces is increasingly important.

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by: Anonymous
August 23, 2012 7:52 PM
I now announce Bashar Assad no longer the leader of Syria. Treat him as the terrorist he is. He is no longer the leader of Syria anymore, he is a millitant, go get him. Nobody is following his rules anymore, in fact he is a wanted felon.

by: Vis8 from: USA
August 23, 2012 10:46 AM
Thanks to Obama and Hillary Clinton's 'help and support', jihadists like al-quaeda are in power for the first time in the Mid East: Egypt, Libya and soon in Syria. Israel is now worried that the chemical weapons of Syria falling into the hands of al-quaeda, and are about to send in 30,000 troops to Syria.
....add to this, the Obama administration's desperate need to start a war in time to get the 'sentimental vote' for his re-election.
Soon, we'll be sending shiploads of troops and spend a trillion dollars fighting the same hooligans that we are helping, now.
America needs to wake up. Four more years of Obama will result in the gift of a significant part of the world to the jihadis.

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