Warring parties in Syria fail to protect civilians, says UN Humanitarian chief

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Valerie Amos

Government forces and opposition fighters in Syria are failing to comply with international law to protect civilians.

That's what UN Humanitarian Affairs chief Valerie Amos told journalists in New York on Wednesday following her mission to Syria where an estimated 2.5 million people need relief assistance.

She said health care, shelter, food, water and sanitation are among the most urgent needs in Syria.

Ms. Amos, who was in the country last week, said the situation has worsened since her last mission in March.

"I'm also extremely concerned that all parties to the conflict are failing to comply with international humanitarian law which sets out clear rules on the protection of civilians. This conflict has taken on a particularly brutal and violent character. We have all seen distressing images on our television screens, and it is ordinary women, men and children who are caught in the midst of it. I repeat my call to all those engaged in the conflict to respect civilians and abide by international humanitarian law."

Ms. Amos said although the UN and its partners are reaching more people in Syria, funding and access to those in areas of intense fighting remain challenges.

Duration: 33″

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