News / Middle East

UN: 10.8 Million Syrians in Need of Aid

Syrian refugees walk outside their tents at a Syrian refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of Majdal Anjar, Lebanon, June 19, 2014.
Syrian refugees walk outside their tents at a Syrian refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of Majdal Anjar, Lebanon, June 19, 2014.
Margaret Besheer

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said Thursday that 10.8 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian assistance - 1.5 million more than just six months ago.  

Valerie Amos returned to the Security Council for the fourth time since Resolution 2139 was adopted in February demanding that the Syrian government and opposition facilitate the work of humanitarians and stop obstructing aid deliveries.

In what has become a disturbing trend, she reported that instead of the situation on the ground improving, it is becoming worse.

“Once again, I remind this council that targeting or indiscriminately attacking vulnerable civilians constitutes a war crime," she said. "There can be no justification for such action. Deliberately obstructing humanitarian access and depriving civilians of access to services essential to their survival, is unlawful and inhumane.”

She said 4.7 million Syrians live in hard-to-reach areas - an increase of more than one million people since the resolution was adopted four months ago.

More than 240,000 people live under siege conditions. In the past month, Amos said less than 2,500 people - or one percent - of this group - received food aid.

Syria’s U.N. envoy, Bashar Ja’afari, dismissed Amos’s report, saying it had “grave falsehoods and gaps” and questioned how she arrived at such “blown up numbers” of needy Syrians.

In February the council set aside its political divisions over Syria and unanimously adopted the resolution calling for better aid access. In it, the 15-nation council signaled its intent to take further steps if the parties did not implement its demands.

Efforts to agree on what those further steps should be have been moving slowly. For several weeks, council members have been negotiating the text of a follow-up resolution that would seek to allow cross-border aid from Turkey, Jordan and Iraq - a move the U.N. says could help them reach at least 1.3 million more Syrians. 

Divisions among council members about how to do this remain.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said his delegation has proposed a deal that has Damascus’ blessing which would allow aid to cross Syria’s borders after inspection by U.N. humanitarian monitors at the border.

"If they really want to reach those two million people in need through those crossings, this is an opportunity to do that," he said.

Australian Ambassador Gary Quinlan, who along with his Jordanian and Luxembourg counterparts, drafted the earlier aid resolution and are working on the follow-up measures, said there are concerns about how the Syrian government would want to implement such a proposal.

“What we would effectively be doing in the way in which the Syrian government is approaching the model that has been put forward by Ambassador Churkin, is reducing the level of access and increasing the restrictions on what little distribution there is to areas other than government-controlled areas we currently have," he said. "That is unacceptable. It cannot work.”

Quinlin said it is not just a matter of getting aid into Syria, but distributing it to both opposition and government areas once there.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
June 26, 2014 8:00 PM
MY OPINION? -- The UN Valerie Amos seems fixated on delivering relief supplies to the US and NATO countries armed and trained Sunni fighters in Syria, (and wants UN authority to bypass the Syrian government), in an effort to resupply the US and NATO armed and trained Sunni fighters? ... and prolonging the Syrian war?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid