Syrian catastrophe getting worse: Amos

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A father and son in the safety of the Talae'e camp after fleeing their home. UNHCR/B. Diab

The humanitarian situation in Syria is already catastrophic and is clearly getting worse, UN humanitarian coordinator Valerie Amos said in a press statement on Wednesday.

She says what we are seeing now are the consequences of the failure of the international community to unite and to resolve the political crisis after nearly two years.

According to the statement, four million people face unrelenting violence and violations of their human rights, and the humanitarian community continues to see the terrible damage being caused by heavy weapons used in urban centres.

Ms. Amos says that people are living in constant fear of bombing or sexual violence and there is lack of food, shelter and urgent medical attention. In addition, the harsh winter is exacerbating the already appalling conditions and more than 650,000 people have left the country. She warns that four million people need help, two million are internally displaced, and 400,000 out of 500,000 Palestinians refugees have been affected.

The humanitarian chief expressed the hope that there is no doubt left in the mind of political leaders as to the scale of the human tragedy unfolding in Syria.

Ms. Amos explains that while those on the humanitarian side cannot end the political crisis or the fighting, the humanitarian community continues to try to do more to help Syrians caught up in the conflict. But she says they also need more resources. The humanitarian community has requested US$1.5 billion to help displaced people and the communities hosting them in Syria – and in neighbouring countries – for the next six months.

A funding conference on the 30th of this month, in Kuwait, which will be hosted by the Secretary-General of the UN and the Emir of Kuwait.

Donn Bobb, United Nations

Duration: 1’39″

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