Over 8.3 million Syrians need aid to survive: UNHCR

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Syrian refugees wait at a UNHCR distribution centre in Za’atri refugee camp in Jordan.© UNHCR/J.Tanner

Nearly half of the Syrian population is now dependent on humanitarian assistance for survival, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

The agency says over 8.3 million Syrians are receiving humanitarian aid, either as refugees in neighbouring countries or, as internally displaced persons.

UNHCR says the situation in Syria is rapidly deteriorating as violence continues to displace civilians and limit access to those in need of assistance.

Panos Moumtzis is UNHCR's regional refugee coordinator for the Syrian crisis.

"We are at a point where the needs out number by far the actual resources we have available to respond to these needs. We are at a point with the humanitarian organizations where we are basically almost on a daily basis, we have to do this prioritization or decision as to where to allocate the resources. It’s really a heartbreaking process to be able to prioritize and to look in between countries and to look between services we provide and decide what is the most life-saving and what's most urgent and what would cover the largest number of people in need in the most effective way to be able to respond to the needs on the ground."

UNHCR has, in the meantime, expressed concern that the number of Syrian refugees crossing into Jordan has reduced to a trickle.

The agency says no refugees have arrived at the Zaatari camp in Jordan over the last four days, sparking fears over the safety and security of Syrian displaced in villages and towns near the border with Jordan.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 1’36″

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