Syria crisis will only worsen unless drastic measures taken: UNHCR

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A boy cycles past the rubble of a destroyed house in Qara, where fighting erupted in 2014, dragging the town into the brutal Syrian conflict. Photo: UNHCR/Qusai Alazroni

With the Syrian conflict entering its seventh year, the international community is being urged to redouble support to ease the suffering of millions in the country and across the region.

The appeal was made by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) which released a statement on Thursday reminding the world of what it called "another tragic milestone" in the crisis.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said the situation in Syria will worsen unless "drastic measures" are taken to shore up peace and security.

Some 13.5 million Syrians require humanitarian aid while 6.3 million have been displaced within the country and hundreds of thousands of others risk their lives at sea in an attempt to seek sanctuary elsewhere.

Furthermore, nearly three million Syrian children under the age of five have grown up knowing nothing other than conflict.

UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi stated that the Syrian conflict is not about numbers, but people.

"Families have been torn apart, innocent civilians killed, houses destroyed, businesses and livelihoods shattered," he said, adding that, "It's a collective failure.”

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees also previewed a conference in Brussels in April that will assess Syria's future, including humanitarian funding requirements.

Mr Grandi reported that the UN will request US$8 billion this year to support Syrians in the country and in exile.

Current resources "don't come close to meeting all the challenges," he said.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'16"

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