Two million without water in Aleppo

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Syrian children stand in the entryway of their tent shelter in the Bab Al Salame camp for internally displaced persons in Aleppo Governate. Photo: UNICEF/Giovanni Diffidenti

The dire situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo continues to be a leading concern for UN agencies.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) reports that the escalation in attacks and fighting have left two million people without access to running water as temperatures soar.

The violence has also reduced the number of available health care workers in a city where medicines and medical supplies are limited.

Dianne Penn reports.

UNICEF says the taps are running dry for citizens in Aleppo.

Electricity networks that pump water throughout the city were damaged in attacks last week.

Despite an urgent attempt to restore supply, the lines were again damaged less than 24 hours later during intensified fighting.

Christophe Boulierac is a UNICEF spokesperson in Geneva:

"These cuts are coming amid a heat wave, putting children in Aleppo at grave risk of waterborne diseases, and that getting clean water running again cannot wait for the fighting to stop. Urgent repairs to electricity infrastructure are critical as pumping water is the only way to meet the needs of these two million residents."

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) says there were at least 10 confirmed attacks on health facilities in Aleppo in July.

Some were hit twice within a 12-hour period, according to the agency.

At least six health care workers have been killed in the city this year, adding to the reduced pool of medical professionals there.

WHO spokesperson Tarik Jašarević outlined just how severe the situation is.

 "According to Eastern Aleppo City local health authorities, only 35 medical doctors remain in the city, and their capacity to cope with the excess demand has been overwhelmed. There were reports of a doctor who was working so much, they had cardiac arrest and were not able to be treated.  More than 15 medical doctors who were outside the city before the siege are now unable to return."

The UN Security Council in New York held a closed-door meeting on Syria on Tuesday morning.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’46″

Filed under Today's News.
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