6.8 million Syrians require urgent humanitarian assistance

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Syrian refugees wait to be registered by UNHCR staff in Lebanon.© UNHCR/M.Abu Asaker

Close to 7 million people inside Syria are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Nearly half of those who currently require assistance are children.

OCHA says movement by internally displaced persons continues to be large-scale and fluid, as many Syrians are displaced multiple times.

Over the past months, the number of IDPs inside Syria has more than doubled, reaching over 4.2 million.

The largest number of internally displaced persons is concentrated in Aleppo and Rural Damascus governorates where 2 million have been uprooted from their homes.

Jens Laerke from OCHA, says despite an increasingly complex security situation, progress is being made in organizing inter-agency aid convoys across conflict lines.

"Overall, from January to April, some 764,000 people have been reached through UN-led relief convoys to hard-to-access areas. Out of ten convoys which crossed conflict lines, five targeted opposition-controlled areas, while another five went to contested areas. There has not been much movement on the beauracratic obstacles. There is still a need for authorization at several levels for each convoy. This is something we continue to work on with the Syrian government."

The United Nations says the number of refugees fleeing Syria to neighbouring countries and North Africa increased by almost 850,000 people in the first four months of 2013.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1.35″

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