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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid