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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora