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.
x
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.

You May Like

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs