Syria crisis a "shameful blot on the world's humanitarian conscience"

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Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, briefs the Security Council at its meeting on the situation in Syria. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The Syrian crisis is "the most acute, unrelenting and shameful blot on the world's humanitarian conscience."

That's what UN humanitarian affairs chief Stephen O'Brien told the Security Council on Tuesday.

He urged the international community to show the Syrian people that they have not been forgotten.

Dianne Penn reports.

Mr O'Brien said a political solution to the Syrian crisis is "more urgent than ever" to end the cycle of violence.

He detailed how five years of fighting have torn the country's economic and social fabric, causing death, destruction and displacement. 

It has also impeded aid delivery efforts.

 "I am shocked and outraged. Syria today, amongst sadly and appallingly an enlarging pool of humanitarian need and human misery across many parts of the world, but notably in this region, is the most acute, unrelenting and shameful blot on the world's humanitarian conscience. I hope that my proposed visit to Damascus next month will provide an opportunity to constructively engage with the government to address some of the significant access challenges that seriously impede humanitarian operations and prevent ordinary Syrians from getting the assistance they so desperately need."

Despite the numerous obstacles, Mr O'Brien spoke of how UN agencies and their partners are supporting millions of needy Syrians.

He said in the first part of this year alone they had provided nearly six million people each month with food.

However, more than four million Syrians are located in areas which are difficult to access.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'20"

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