OCHA warns of deepening Syrian crisis

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A displaced Syrian family in the suburb of Sanoura, Damascus. OCHA/David Gough

The United Nations humanitarian agency, OCHA, is warning that if the violence continues unabated in Syria, the numbers of people in need of urgent assistance will escalate over the coming months. It's estimated that there are currently 4 million people who need emergency aid. More than 2 million people are internally displaced in the country.

Jens Laerke, OCHA spokesperson, says that access to those most in need remains severely restricted.

"In the face of this human tragedy, organizations are struggling to reach more people, in more places, with more aid, but lack of access is still a major obstacle. We need to get to people both in government and opposition controlled areas and, importantly, in disputed areas of active fighting. Now to ensure that we reach more people, agencies are expanding their local partnerships from the current number of about 70 organizations, and we also continue to urge the government to allow more international NGOs into Syria as our partners."

Last week the Kuwait conference saw pledges of more than US$ 1.5 billion. OCHA says that if humanitarian agencies are to scale up their operations these pledges must be honoured and turned into hard cash.

Nicki Chadwick, UN Radio, Geneva.

Duration: 1’12″

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