Situation in Syria deteriorating: UN humanitarian chief

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Valerie Amos

The situation in Syria is getting worse, warns UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos. 

She told a Geneva press conference Tuesday that the violence is causing widespread destruction and having a devastating impact on the lives of ordinary Syrians, women, men and children. 

She recalled her fourth visit to Damascus in January during which she saw firsthand the destruction of lives, of infrastructure, and the erosion of basic social services like health and education. 

“ Humanitarian agencies are trying to keep up with the rising needs. The World Food Programme is scaling up to meet the needs of 2.5 million people by April. About half of their current 1.75 million beneficiaries are staying in opposition-controlled or contested areas. UNICEF and the World Health Organization with their partners have reached more than a million children with vaccination campaigns against polio and measles, many in areas held by opposition groups. 

The UN estimates that 70,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the crisis.. And, the flow of people out of the country continues unabated. Out of the 860,000 refugee total, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey are together sheltering 97 per cent. 

In addition, some 400,000 out of about 500,000 Palestinian refugees need humanitarian assistance. 

Donn Bobb, United Nations. 

Duration: 1’20″

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