News / Middle East

UN Official: Will Take Decades to Rebuild Syria

People search for survivors in the rubble of a damaged area that activists said was a result of an airstrike by the Syrian regime, in the Al-Sukkari neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, April 7, 2013.People search for survivors in the rubble of a damaged area that activists said was a result of an airstrike by the Syrian regime, in the Al-Sukkari neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, April 7, 2013.
x
People search for survivors in the rubble of a damaged area that activists said was a result of an airstrike by the Syrian regime, in the Al-Sukkari neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, April 7, 2013.
People search for survivors in the rubble of a damaged area that activists said was a result of an airstrike by the Syrian regime, in the Al-Sukkari neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria, April 7, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
The United Nations' head of humanitarian operations is warning it could take decades to rebuild Syria’s decimated infrastructure.

John Ging recently returned from Syria, where he said he found appalling suffering and “phenomenal” devastation.

He said among the worst hit cities are Aleppo in the north, a former commercial hub of the country that is now in parts a ghost town, and Deraa in the far south, where the crisis began more than two years ago when a group of teenagers scrawled anti-government graffiti on their school.

In Aleppo, Ging said the city is divided between government- and opposition-controlled areas. In regime areas, he said, there is only an hour or two of electricity daily, there is significant damage to infrastructure, but shops are open and reasonably well supplied. He said this is in stark contrast to the situation in opposition-controlled areas of the city.

“We were shocked by what we saw immediately. The streets are strewn with rubbish - it’s a public health disaster in the making,” Ging said. “They have no electricity at all. The phone network - both landline and mobile - totally cut off. Very little traffic moving around because there is almost no fuel. Also, we were told that people had water once every five days. The shops are almost empty, depleted,” said Ging.

He said the scale of the devastation caused by heavy weapons to infrastructure, schools, hospitals and homes is “quite incredible” and will take decades to rebuild. “This country is being taken back in time decades, decades. This should mobilize a realization that it has to stop now, rather than allowing it to just continue on in the direction it is going.”

Ging said the United Nations has reached an impasse with the Syrian government on access for its aid workers to cross international borders into areas held by opposition fighters, such as checkpoints between Turkey and northern Syria. He said the government will not allow them to cross these borderlines and it is inhibiting their ability to reach many of the nearly 7 million Syrians who are in dire need across the country. He urged the U.N. Security Council to direct the government to give them unfettered access by whatever secure routes are available.

You May Like

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rodney
April 21, 2013 12:53 AM
1. How come the Syrian President cannot be declared a War Criminal along with members of his military command.
2. Then to be indicted to the Hague along with those military officers, when this violence is brought to an end. Is the United Nations thinking seriously?


by: MUSTAFA from: PAKISTAN
April 20, 2013 6:10 AM
Who is responsible for this destruction? I have mentioned in my previous comments that USA aid is going to AL QAIDA but that time no body gave any serious thought but now this is confirm that AL QAIDA is an important role in this destruction. Now who will take responsibility to minimise pain and suffering. This is same mistake as to search WPMD in iraq and then destroy all the structre of iraq in the name of search of weapons. Now they want to CHANGE REGIME at the cost of so many LIVES and unlimited pains for common peoples.When we TRUST ON GOD then we should have faith that one day will come when our tongue cannot speak a single word but ALL of our body parts will speak TRUTH what we have done in this world and then at that time NO SCAPE FROM TRUTH.

In Response

by: allsoulsrising from: canada
April 20, 2013 4:51 PM
Too bad this reporter didn t tell the whole truth, just a partial view of the reality of this civil war, there is hardly any food or water because the so called rebels are controlling the food supply so they make money and also have the food go to what ever secular part of the Muslim/Islamic community that they back. What about the refugee camps were all the rape, selling of young girls etc. etc. and the killing the muslims are doing to one another, this country will be still at civil war, long after assad is long gone. The Muslims don t have the were with it to build a peaceful country, all you have to do is look around at all the other so called Muslim controlled countries. And when Assad is gone the remaining Muslims will blame all this suffering and murder on the western countries.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid